Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, applauded news that, on the eve of Thanksgiving, the President signed into law S. 1365, an updated version of the “National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016.”
“Our effort here was to give the Secretary of Defense the same authorities of the Secretary of Homeland Security, which is to provide statutory arrest authority to the civilian law enforcement officers serving in the Department,” Canterbury explained. “It was the FOP’s strategy to do this, not through a stand-alone legislation, but the reauthorization bill. It took some time, but ultimately–we succeeded.”
The previous NDAA bill was vetoed by the President because of an increase to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund. The budget deal that was agreed to earlier this month resolved that issue and Congress quickly passed an amended version of the bill.
“I want our members to know and understand that this success is entirely that of the FOP,” Canterbury said. “There were no coalition of groups, no grand alliances. Our members came to us with this issue, we made it a top priority and now it is law because of the FOP’s efforts.”
While the law goes into immediate effect, this does not mean that there will be any immediate change in policy at the U.S. Department of Defense. It may take some time before the DoD implements the new law.
“These changes will take time and we will continue to work with our DoD members to make sure their voices are heard as the process goes forward,” Canterbury said.