WASHINGTON D.C. (WTRF) – Law enforcement is responsible for keeping our communities safe, but sometimes they need help to do so. Whether that be from their local governments, or the federal government.
Congressman Bill Johnson has a new proposal to give lawmakers a better idea of the stress and challenges that these officers face.
He introduced the Congress Observing Police Service Resolution, also known as “COPS”.
It would require each member of the U.S. House of Representatives to go for a ride-along with law enforcement in their area at least once during each two-year session.
Keeping our neighborhoods safe and secure, that’s their responsibility. That’s what they (law enforcement) took an oath to do. That’s what most of them want to do.Rep. Bill Johnson, (R) 6th District, Ohio
Congressman Johnson said he’s done this in parts of Ohio and he’s seen what’s happening in the region he serves.
It’s drugs. It’s crime. It’s driving by the neighborhoods where most of the drug activity is going on. It’s identifying those areas of a community that are less safe.Rep. Bill Johnson, (R) 6th District, Ohio
He explained there are other issues law enforcement faces that causes more stress, including struggles to staff police forces or reduced funding in some communities. Johnson also made mention of is concerns with qualified immunity and how it holds police accountable.
I’m not in law enforcement, but I sure as hell would not be in law enforcement if I had to be concerned that if I was chasing a bad guy that was a criminal, a hardened criminal, and I had to take that person down I’d be very very concerned if on the other side of that coin I could be charged or disciplined because of what I had to do to bring that person into custody.Rep. Bill Johnson, (R) 6th District, Ohio
Congressman Johnson hopes that these ride-alongs would allow his fellow members of Congress to be better prepared to pass any legislation that deals with law enforcement.
He also said he supports the practice because it lets constituents know that they’re issues are being heard.