Log Cabin Praises Introduction of Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in Senate

April 12, 2007 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans praise the bi-partisan introduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would allow local law enforcement agencies to access federal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) is the lead Republican co-sponsor. The House version was introduced last month. Similar legislation previously passed both the U.S. House and Senate by wide, bi-partisan margins.

"Our strong support for local law enforcement officials and our shared commitment to fighting crime unites us as Republicans," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "We all understand the importance of combating violent crime in every community – from the largest cities to the smallest towns. That's why every Republican lawmaker should support this legislation."

"Log Cabin thanks Senator Smith for introducing this bill," said Sammon. "Smith is a strong advocate for common sense values. The Senate should quickly pass this legislation, which the vast majority of Americans support."

This legislation enjoys wide support, particularly among the law enforcement community. Virtually every major national law enforcement organization in America supports this law including the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National District Attorneys Association, and the National Sheriffs' Association. In all, over 210 civil rights, professional, civic, and religious groups, thirty-one state Attorneys General, and former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh support this proposal.

"Current law allows local law enforcement agencies to receive federal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes based on race, religion, and national origin. Modernizing existing law is critical to ensure that our local law enforcement agencies are given every tool available to prosecute violent crime," said Sammon.

According to the FBI, law enforcement officials reported 7,163 hate crimes in 2005. State and local authorities investigate and prosecute the overwhelming majority of these hate crimes – and will continue to do so after the LLEHCPA is enacted. The LLEHCPA, however, would provide a necessary backstop to state and local enforcement by permitting federal authorities to provide assistance in these investigations – and by allowing federal prosecutions when state and local authorities are unable or unwilling to act.