Introduces Bill to Update U.S. Park Police with Pay and Benefits to Address Severe Shortage of Officers
WASHINGTON—Subcommittee on Government Operations Ranking Member Jody Hice (R-Ga.) today introduced the U.S. Park Police Modernization Act (H.R. 3924) to update pay and benefits for the U.S. Park Police to resemble other area law enforcement. The goal of the legislation is to increase retention rates and provide incentives for more individuals to pursue positions with the Park Police.
“Protecting our freedom of speech and freedom to peacefully assemble means providing our law enforcement with the proper tools to keep Americans safe as they exercise those rights. Sadly, America’s Park Police, who are often on those frontlines, are severely understaffed. Over the last year, we’ve seen several demonstrations go awry because of bad actors manipulating peaceful demonstrations as an excuse to wreak havoc on America. We must make it easier for the U.S. Park Police to retain and recruit officers by ensuring their pay scale and benefits are competitive with other law enforcement officers in the area. Through the U.S. Park Police Pay Modernization Act, we will do just that and incentivize officers to join and stay with the Park Police,” said Ranking Member Jody Hice.
Between U.S. Park Police and other federal law enforcement agencies, there is a substantial pay and benefits disparity. This factors into the retention and recruitment rates for U.S. Park Police. The ideal number of U.S. Park Police is 850 officers, but as of March 1, 2021, there were less than 500 officers.
The U.S. Park Police Modernization Act seeks to address the retention and recruitment needs of the agency by providing parity between its pay scale and that of the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Capitol Police.