|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
Thursday, August 6, 1998
Washington, D.C. – U. S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) has introduced legislation to raise the mandatory retirement age for U.S. Capitol Police officers from 57 to 60. "The Capitol Police is one of the most professional and dedicated law enforcement agencies in the country," noted Traficant in a letter sent today to U.S. Rep. William M. Thomas (R–CA), chairman of the House Oversight Committee. "Unfortunately, every year a number of talented officers are forced to leave the force because of the mandatory retirement rule. Many of these officers are in excellent physical condition. Most important, they possess a wealth of experience and savvy that is difficult, if not, impossible to replace." Traficant wants the committee to act on the bill, H.R. 4415, before Congress adjourns for the year in October.
Last year, Traficant introduced legislation, H.R. 2828, to raise the salary and benefits of the Capitol Police to the same level as other federal law enforcement agencies. That bill has more than 40 cosponsors. Traficant noted that all Capitol Police recruits are sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia for extensive training. "Many of these young, well-trained officers leave the Capitol Police after only a few years to work for other area law enforcement agencies. Low pay is a big factor," noted Traficant.
"Good security begins with good people. Increasing the pay and benefits of Capitol Police officers, along with raising the mandatory retirement age, will go a long way in further enhancing security at the Capitol by slowing the rate of turnover," added Traficant, who served as sheriff of Mahoning County, Ohio from 1981 to 1985. Traficant concluded his letter to Chairman Thomas by noting that "raising the mandatory retirement age from 57 to 60 will provide the Capitol Police with the flexibility necessary to retain experienced, highly competent and dedicated officers."2009