Legislation will help officers continue fighting crime after becoming disabled

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI), Steve Russell (R-OK), Peter King
(R-NY), and Mike Capuano (D-MA) introduced the Continuation on Active Service Act, a
bill that will enable federal law enforcement officers that have become disabled to
continue law enforcement work in their respective agencies. Currently, federal law
enforcement officers who acquire a disability must either transition to an
administrative position that does not take advantage of their specialized knowledge
and training, or they must retire.

“The hardworking law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day
deserve the opportunity to continue working in careers that make appropriate use of
their knowledge and experience, regardless of disability,” said Congressman
Langevin, co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus. “I have met with agents
injured on duty who have valuable insight to contribute to ongoing law enforcement
matters and who are prevented from doing so due to government policy. These stories
resonate deeply with me. I strongly believe that people with disabilities are one of
society’s greatest untapped resources, and government policy should not prevent them
from making meaningful contributions to public safety.”

“When our secret agents and law enforcers are injured in the line of duty, their
careers should not be sidelined as a result,” said Congressman Russell. “The
Continuation on Active Service Act allows our country to retain their wealth of
knowledge in positions where their physical capacity is not a vital requirement. It
just makes good sense to keep their experience, stabilize their families and protect
our country.”

“I am proud to support this legislation which ensures our Federal Law Enforcement
Officers will not be penalized for sacrificing their well-being to keep us safe,”
said Congressman King.

“Every day, federal law enforcement officers secure our borders, protect our leaders
and keep Americans safe from criminals and terrorists,” said Donald Mihalek,
Executive Vice President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. “They
do this with the belief that if something happens to them, their valor will be
honored and their family protected. It is that trust which we hope the Congress
keeps in mind as they work to enact the Continuation on Active Service Act
introduced by Congressman Jim Langevin, which would unequivocally tell federal law
enforcement officers and their families that they will never be forgotten.”

The Continuation on Active Service Act allows an agency to waive medical standards
or physical requirements of a job for an officer who suffers a qualifying injury.
The agencies affected by this bill, which include the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, U.S.
Marshals Service, and U.S. Capitol Police will have flexibility to establish
policies that allow them to maintain the readiness required to fulfill their
missions while taking advantage of highly trained and motivated agents that, though
disabled, are capable of assisting in criminal investigations and other matters of
public safety.