Fort Hood Civilian Police Do Not Have The Same Privileges As Other Law Enforcement, But Bills Could Change That | New


Fort Hood cops Mark Todd and Kimberly Munley are considered American heroes after arresting Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspected Fort Hood shooter, on November 5.

But under federal law, they classify themselves as second-rate law enforcement.

They and other civilian police in the Department of Defense are not eligible for the same concealed transport privileges, pensions, and out-of-position powers accorded to other federal law enforcement officials.

This disparity exposes civilian police to life-threatening situations when they leave their post. The gap causes them to lose thousands of dollars throughout their careers and upon retirement.

Three Congressional resolutions (HR 673, HR 675 and HR 3752) aim to put civilian police on the same level. Resolutions await consideration by congressional subcommittees. Various forms of these bills have died without action in recent sessions of Congress.

The Fort Hood massacre calls on civilian police to be on the same level as all law enforcement is urged to risk their lives, Rep. James Forbes (R-Va) said in December. Forbes sponsored HR 673.

“When we find ourselves in a situation we expect the worst and hope for the best,” Fort Hood patrol officer Larry Kuczenski said in December. “We deal with murders and domestic assaults.… We see everything and sometimes more.”

When Fort Hood Police Sgt. George Sinner leaves Fort Hood, he is vulnerable to reprisals from those he arrested. DOD civilian police do not have a concealed carry privilege granted to most federal and state law enforcement agencies that are not on duty.

Sinner said his 7-year-old granddaughter notices the looks when they go to HEB together.

She asks, “Daddy, why is he looking at us?

“I stopped him,” says Sinner, a traffic investigator.

When Sinner sees a crime in Killeen on the way home, he feels compelled to act, but has no legal authority.

“You walk by and you have someone beating his wife in the car, there’s nothing we can do,” Sinner said in early January.

Sinner also requested more privileges for the civilian police in Texas as secretary of the West Bell County Fraternal Order of Police.

While official figures have not been released, additional privileges would cost the government millions of dollars, if not more,.

The government left some law enforcement on non-police compensation programs to save money, Beth Moten said in December. Moten is lobbying for government employees with the American Federation of Government Employees.

A change would pay civilian police more than their current government level, which equates to one clerk, Kuczenski said.

Civilian police would receive a 20-year retirement pension similar to most federal and local law enforcement agencies.

The recognition is long overdue, Kuczenski said.

“The only way we are recognized as police officers is if one of us is killed in the line of duty. We are put on a wall in Washington,” Kuczenski said.

Contact Victor O’Brien at [email protected] or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

HR 3752 Improvements to Law Enforcement Safety Act 2009

A) Redefines “law enforcement” to include Ministry of Defense civilian police.

B) Gives the right to carry a concealed weapon out of service to current civilian officers and to those who have left departments in good standing after 10 years.

C) Allows current and former officers in good standing to carry firearms in a school zone.

Presented by Representative James Forbes (R-Va), October 7, 2009.

Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, October 19, 2009.

A) Provide DOD law enforcement with the ability to carry firearms and serve warrants.

B) Allows DOD law enforcement to make a warrantless arrest for a crime they witness or have probable reason to believe has been committed.

Presented by Representative Bob Filner, (D-Ca), January 26, 2009.

Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, May 4, 2009.

HR 673 Fair Law Enforcement Act

A) Redefines the term “law enforcement” to include the Ministry of Defense civilian police and other law enforcement authorities authorized to carry firearms and investigate or apprehend criminals.

B) Gives officers the option of being part of the federal law enforcement retirement program.

Presented by Representative Bob Filner, (D-CA), January 26, 2009.

Referred to the Federal Workforce and Government Reform Oversight Committee subcommittee, May 4, 2009.


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