Probation Officer Protection Act Passes the House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) released the following statement after the Probation Officer Protection Act passed the U.S. House with a bipartisan vote. The Probation Officer Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. David Reichert (R-WA), protects probation officers and enhances their ability to do their jobs by giving them authority to arrest a third party who forcibly interferes with an officer’s performance of his or her official duties.
“Even though preventing a federal probation officer from performing his or her official duties is against the law, current law does not provide these officers the authority to correct or restrain an interfering third party," said Rep. Pascrell, co-chairman of the House Law Enforcement Caucus. "As fully trained and sworn federal law enforcement officers, these brave men and women should not be worried about interference while carrying out their routine visits. Thankfully, my co-chair of the Law Enforcement Caucus, Rep. Dave Reichert, and I came together to introduce and pass the Probation Officer Protection Act to close this gap in current law.”
“When a probation officer goes to an offender’s home they do not know who will be there or what type of welcome they will receive, “ said Rep. Reichert, also a Law Enforcement Caucus co-chairman. “Third parties, like a friend or neighbor may assault the officer or block them from doing their critical job of making sure the offender is on the right path. Now officers are left with no choice but to retreat and call local law enforcement for support, which in some cases could take 30 minutes to an hour given the severe officer shortages we have across the country. The Probation Officer Protection Act will address this issue by giving our probation officers the right to protect themselves, protect probationers, and safely carry out their official duties under the law.”
Prior to the passage of the bill, Rep. Pascrell spoke on the House floor urging his colleagues to join him in supporting the legislation. To watch his remarks, click HERE.