Brothers and Sisters,
The last few weeks have been difficult times for our profession both here in Colorado and nationwide. As you are all aware SB 20-217 “Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity” was introduced into the Colorado General Assembly by Democratic leadership on June 3, 2020.
I know that each of you has struggled the last few weeks wanting to know exactly what was being done in regards to this legislation and its ultimate impact on each of us and our profession. And although we sent out two statewide member updates giving as much information as we could, the bottom line was due to the rapid pace at which this bill moved and the sensitive work we were doing regarding amendments we could not provide more specific details. And for that we apologize, but we had no choice.
When we received the initial introduced bill, we were shocked by the content, scope, and serious negative impact and chilling effect passage of the bill (as originally worded) would have had on our members, the public, and our profession. Since the bill was introduced with every single Democratic legislator listed as a cosponsor, the bill was guaranteed to pass from the beginning. Even before the bill was introduced, we began holding several conference calls involving other key statewide law enforcement associations with the goal of creating a unified voice of Colorado law enforcement. This formed the foundation of a united front of law enforcement in Colorado to address the many issues of common concern contained in the original bill.
Our legislative team, including our labor attorney and our lobbyist along with our public relations firm, began immediately working around the clock on crafting amendments, drafting statements and strategies, and lobbying for votes that would mitigate much of the damage contained in the original bill language.
National Chairman of the Trustees and Colorado Trustee Rob Pride and Denver Sheriff Lodge 27 Robert Pablo testified in both the Senate and House committee hearing. And Rob Pride, in addition to testifying, participated in several media interviews expressing the FOP’s concerns and our position on this legislation.
Our lobbyist did a tremendous job working long hours with our political allies in both the House and Senate and our coalition members to gain amendments to the bill that minimized much of the damage from the original bill. And you, your family members, and members of the public responded in large numbers to the FOP’s “Call for Action” by calling and writing your Senators and Representatives with concerns about the bill.
This was a tremendous effort showing the strength and voice of the FOP as the primary representative voice of Colorado’s line officers. And although this was a hard fought and almost impossible fight, conducted in an environment of anger and mass protest towards the policing profession, we were able to secure amendments that some would have thought impossible to achieve.
The amended bill is now in front of the Governor and it will be signed into law. As members of the largest and greatest representative police organization in Colorado and the Nation you should be proud that your expertise and professionalism gives us a major influential voice in our destiny.
Rest assured; our work is not finished. This legislation as amended does not mark the end. In fact, it marks just the beginning of what will be ongoing efforts both politically and professionally to identify and address areas of continued concern for our members and the communities we serve, and to advocate for well thought out police reform in our state. As your representative organization that is our commitment to you and our profession.
If you are an FOP member please take the time to register on this State FOP website for confidential member updates and information on all matters impacting our profession both in Colorado and nationally.
Please take the time to read the attached breakdown of the bill comparing the original to the amended and the lead-in information from our lobbyist.
Copies of the final act and our summary available by clicking your mouse on the following:
May god bless you all. Stay safe and stay in the fight.
President - Colorado State Lodge
Fraternal Order of Police