On October 26, Fraternal Order of Police National President Chuck Canterbury wrote a letter to members of Congress expressing the FOP’s concerns regarding the recent harmful budget resolution that damages Federal law enforcement and thus would have an impact on public safety and national security.
Text of Letter
Dear Mr. Speaker, Senator McConnell, Representative Pelosi and Senator Schumer,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to express our concerns regarding the budget resolution. This resolution has provisions in it that are harmful to Federal law enforcement and thus would have an impact on public safety and national security.
The House’s report language and the Administration’s budget blueprint suggest that drastic changes to Federal retirement system be made. Among the proposals are: a 6% increase in employee contributions to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), phased over 6 years; the elimination of cost of living adjustments for FERS employees and a .5% reduction in COLAs for Civil Service Retirement System enrollees; elimination of the FERS supplement for employees who retire before Social Security kicks in at age 62; and basing the value of retirement benefits on the highest five years of employees’ earnings instead of the current standard of the highest 3 years.
These changes to the Federal retirement system would be devastating to Federal law enforcement agencies which already struggle with recruitment and retention. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has 27% of its workforce eligible for retirement, and the U.S. Border Patrol has 20% of its workforce eligible for retirement. Applying such drastic cuts to the retirement benefits for these agencies will trigger a cascade of retirements and, obviously, do great damage to the agencies’ ability to carry out their law enforcement and national security missions. We do not have data on how these changes may impact other agencies, but it is unlikely to have a positive effect on any agency. There is no doubt it will harm recruitment and retention efforts.
We urge Congress to carefully consider if we can afford to risk public safety and homeland security if changes to Federal retirement lead to a mass exodus of experienced Federal agents and officers.
Thank you all, as always, for your consideration of the views of the more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police. If I can be of any additional assistance on this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Senior Advisor, Jim Pasco, in my Washington office.