FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: TIM RICHARDSON (FOP)
DECEMBER 7, 2018 (202) 547-8189
SARAH GUY (IACP) (703) 647-7226
FOP and IACP Announce a Big Step for First Step Act
Nation’s most prominent law enforcement organizations continue partnership with President on criminal justice reform
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), and Chief Paul M. Cell, President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), announced that working with members of the Senate and the Administration, the nation’s leading law enforcement organizations have further strengthened the First Step Act by making additional, law enforcement supported revisions to the original text.
“Our organizations are committed to making meaningful changes to our criminal justice system,” Canterbury explained. “Our shared mission—keeping our officers and the public safe—has brought together our nation’s oldest and largest law enforcement labor organization and the nation’s oldest and largest organization of law enforcement executives. Because the FOP and IACP were willing to engage with the Administration and Congress, we have a very good anti-crime bill that will greatly improve our nation’s criminal justice system.”
The legislation, entitled the “First Step Act,” would establish a comprehensive risk and needs assessment tool to provide an individual profile of all Federal inmates. Those offenders deemed to be at low risk to recidivate would be given incentives and access to evidence-based recidivist reduction programs to better prepare them to return to their neighborhoods and become productive members of the community. Offenders which are not deemed low risk would remain incarcerated.
“We believe that the risk assessment tool will accurately determine and identify inmates who pose a low risk to reoffend and provide them with access to evidence-based programs that will help prepare them for a successful reentry into society” Cell said. “In addition, in order to further protect the safety of the public the FOP and IACP worked out an extensive list of exclusions to make absolutely sure that violent criminals, drug traffickers, sex offenders and others who have committed serious crimes remain locked up.”
This legislation continues to be a priority for the Administration. President Trump made it clear that for this effort to succeed, the bill must have support from law enforcement, so it has been a collaborative effort. The FOP and IACP continue to make their case in the Senate to build broad, bipartisan support for the legislation.
“The FOP and IACP came to the table because we believe that our criminal justice system can be
better,” said Cell. “Other organizations, which lack the broader perspective of the FOP and IACP, did
not respond to the President’s leadership on this and chose to remain on the sidelines and defend the
status quo. As a result, they have missed the chance to be part of meaningful and long overdue
“We believe that a large majority of the Senate stands with law enforcement and supports this bill,”
said Canterbury. “This is a real opportunity to make our nation’s criminal justice system safer and
fairer for all. The leadership that the FOP and IACP have shown by engaging in this good faith effort
has yielded real and tangible results and we should not allow obstructionists and the short-sighted
voices against reform to derail this bill in the final days of this Congress.”
The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States
with more than 345,000 members.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is the world’s largest and most influential
professional association for police leaders. With more than 31,000 members in 150 countries, the
IACP is a recognized leader in global policing. Since 1893, the association has been speaking out on
behalf of law enforcement and advancing leadership and professionalism in policing worldwide.