WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Josh Hawley will introduce the “David Dorn Back the Blue Act” to raise money for police officer salaries and increase officer hiring and retention.
Hawley’s bill would amend the “Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968” to authorize $15 billion to fund more officer hiring and salary increases for state and local law enforcement, according to a news release from the senator's office.
David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain, was killed in June while protecting a friend’s store during a night of rioting in the city. He served for 38 years with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
“Police departments across the country are under siege—underfunded, facing increased retirements, and struggling to make new hires. But as violence and rioting sweeps across American cities big and small, our courageous law enforcement officers are more vital now than ever. Democratic politicians are bending to radical activists who want to defund the police. We should do just the opposite. Our officers deserve a raise, not defunding. They deserve our unqualified support. And this bill would give it to them,” Hawley said.
Hawley’s bill would allow recipients to use federal funds to increase the number of officers on their forces, raise officers' salaries up to 110% of the local median earnings and would exclude cities that defund their police.
The David Dorn Back the Blue Act as outlined by Hawley:
- Authorizes $15 billion through the Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement departments to boost their department personnel.
- Provides funding for additional officer hires and officer retention for departments that need more manpower on their police forces.
- Gives pay raises to officers by allowing recipients to use federal funds to raise the salaries of officers up to 110 percent of the local median earnings.
- Excludes cities that defund their police by not allowing any department to receive money for pay raises that recently cut officer salaries.