National Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury sent letters to Representatives Robert W. Bishop, Raul M. Grijalva, K. Michael Conaway, and Collin C. Peterson concerning the FOP’s opposition to H.R 4751, the “Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act of 2016.”
Text of the letter
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our strong opposition to H.R_ 4751, the “Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act of 2016.” This legislation terminates the law enforcement functions of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and provides block grants to States for the enforcement of Federal law on Federal land under the jurisdiction of these agencies.
The mission of both the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests, public lands and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.” The USFS and BLM are both Federal law enforcement agencies and all law enforcement officers and special agents receive their vigorous training through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). The training that these law enforcement officers and special agents receive is specific to the long list of duties specifically assigned to the USFS and BLM including: to maintain and protect grazing, mining, timberlands, firefighting, abandoned mines, water, minerals, fish, wildlife, and wilderness.
It is unfair to leave the care and protection of our Nation’s forests and lands in the hands of local law enforcement officers who do not possess the proper training, education and expertise it takes to be able to carry out these duties. Terminating Federal law enforcement officers who are trained experts in forestry and land management and inserting local law enforcement officers who in tum, lack the necessary training and education that our forests and lands need for protection and survival is simply vacuous.
On behalf of the more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I want to thank you for considering our view on this important issue. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in my Washington Office.