The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that violent crime increased 5.6% in the United States in 2020 compared to 2019.
In Idaho in 2020, the FBI found that there were 3,610 incidents of violent crime reported by 107 law enforcement agencies. There are many complex reasons for this unfortunate increase. But one thing is certain: the need for well-funded and supported law enforcement personnel.
Law enforcement professionals are essential to keeping our communities safe, which is a dangerous and difficult responsibility, while facing significant challenges. The men and women of the police and the families of the police occupy a very special place in our society.
I have been proud to support legislation recognizing the vigilance and compassion of those who serve in law enforcement and expressing strong support for law enforcement officials in Idaho and the United States in their efforts. to secure our communities.
This includes my co-sponsorship of S. 1599, the Back the Blue Act. This legislation, which fellow US Senator Jim Risch also co-sponsored, would create a new federal crime of murder, attempt to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge or law enforcement official.
It would also create harsher penalties for such a crime as well as aggravating factors such as the use of a weapon or attempted flight.
In addition, the bill authorizes resources to improve the relationship between police services and the communities they serve. Section 1599 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further consideration.
The vast majority of law enforcement officials are Americans who work hard and put their lives at risk to keep our communities safe. The influx of counterfeit pills and the deadly impact of these and other drugs; cartels of drug trafficking organizations; domestic violence affecting far too many families; and more; law enforcement officers face difficult threats to keep the peace.
Their job is far from easy and they deserve our continued support.
Thank you to our law enforcement community for their selfless acts of bravery. I will continue to support the appropriate measures that will protect the safety and well-being of our country’s public safety employees.