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Homeland Security Republicans hold hearing examining state of law enforcement amid National Police Week

FIRST ON FOX: Two Republican subcommittee chairmen on the House Homeland Security Committee are holding a joint hearing to examine the state of American law enforcement. GOP Reps. August Pfluger of Texas and Anthony D’Esposito of New York are holding a joint hearing on Tuesday between their subcommittees taking a look at U.S. law enforcement as the country endures a crime crisis. Pfluger told Fox News Digital the hearing is “a way for us to honor our law enforcement” as well as the sacrifices police and their family members make. IRS REMOVES ‘ENTIRE INVESTIGATIVE TEAM’ IN HUNTER BIDEN PROBE, WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIMS RETALIATION: REPORT The Subcommittee for Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and Law Enforcement hearing is a way to honor law enforcement, Pfluger said. “It’s a tough time right now. You see a lot of places around the country, cities, locales, the politicization of so many different things where law enforcement, quite frankly, don’t feel supported either by their local governments, whether they be city or county, or by the federal government in a lot of ways,” Pfluger said. “Be it the politicization of DAs around the country who cherry pick, and pick and choose the types of things that they will and won’t prosecute,” the Texas Republican continued.  D’Esposito, a former New York Police Department detective, told Fox News Digital he believes “it’s important to really examine the current state of law enforcement and, most importantly, how the federal government, and in particular [the Department of] Homeland Security is engaged or not engaged with state and local authorities across the country.” The hearing will be “an opportunity for the members [of Congress] to hear from witnesses about challenges that law enforcement are facing in many different communities,” D’Esposito said. “And obviously, the mission of policing is the same throughout this country, but the way that policing is done in different parts of the nation, I think needs to be identified,” D’Esposito continued. “And we need to make sure that we’re doing our part to really deliver the resources that are needed throughout the country in different ways.” “Just as the way that the mission of FEMA has somewhat been the same, but the way that it’s handling that mission has been different. They’ve dealt with now pandemics. They’ve dealt with handling and helping with the migrants coming across our border. So policing has changed throughout this nation. Again, the mission is the same, but we need to make sure that we’re doing our part to make sure that they have what they need to do it.” Pfluger and D’Esposito said the witnesses from across the country will bring their knowledge and experience in front of the panel and they’ll learn how local law enforcement agencies are operating in America. The Texas Republican said that, based on the witnesses testifying on Tuesday, the committee “will learn a couple of things.” “Number one, we’re going to talk about the fusion centers and how the federal government, including DHS, either are or aren’t supporting local and state level law enforcement,” Pfluger said. “Number two, I think that we’ll probably hear a lot about how the crisis at the southern border over the past two and a half years has affected law enforcement through human trafficking, through fentanyl, through other violent crime, and I think we’ll understand how that has impacted the recruiting and retention from law enforcement as well.” “And then, number three, I think kind of gets to the previous statement that I made about whether or not these law enforcement [officers] feel supported, I mean, the morale issues are really big,” Pfluger warned. “And if you don’t have, if you’re not constantly working on supporting law enforcement, then morale can obviously dip If they’re understaffed, if they don’t have enough people, if they’re not getting the training that they need. Morale can get up.” Pfluger blasted President Biden and his administration as having “completely sidelined law and order,” instead having chosen to politicize major issues facing Americans. “And it’s impacting those who are responsible for trying to execute the law and trying to keep our community safe,” Pfluger said, noting Biden could boost morale by having his Department of Justice (DOJ) “start enforcing the laws that we have.” “Stop politicizing things and stop making it a political issue,” Pfluger continued. “Don’t use DOJ as a weaponized arm of the Democrat Party like we’ve seen in so many areas, so many cases, as has been reported throughout the past two and a half years.” “One of the things he could do is stop allowing or encouraging members of his party to speak ill of law enforcement,” D’Esposito said when asked what Biden can do to help alleviate the crime crisis in America. The New York Republican noted he “didn’t see the president” at the National Police Week candlelight vigil at the National Mall and slammed Biden for abruptly canceling his keynote address honoring fallen police officers for the week honoring law enforcement. “So, clearly, this wasn’t a priority for him or his administration,” D’Esposito said, blasting the Democrats as “putting criminals before law-abiding citizens.” D’Esposito, who “wore the uniform for 16 years” in the New York Police Department, said he hopes the hearing will help other members who may not have served in law enforcement understand what the men and women in blue need. “I think what’s important to understand is that there is violence that is resonating in many cities throughout the country, but it is at the hands of failed policies,” D’Esposito said. “And, you know, in New York specifically, we’ve seen that cashless bail in criminal justice reform.” “When it was being implemented by the Democrats, they were articulating to communities that this was to protect minority communities and make sure that they weren’t stuck in the wheels of justice,” D’Esposito said. “But, in fact, the implementation of cashless bail and the fact that they put these restrictions in place, they’ve literally handcuffed police.” “When they did criminal justice reform and conducted the hearings, they never once asked law enforcement agencies to opine,” the New York Republican continued. “And now we’re stuck in a position where the very communities that they claimed that they wanted to protect are the ones that are suffering the most. Those minority communities are the ones where violence is surging. Those minority communities are the places where we’re seeing the most violence occur, where people are unfortunately taken up in body bag after body bag, because violent crime is spiking, because people are going back out on the street after committing crimes only to commit more crimes.” D’Esposito said he believes his experience in uniform – taking “guns off the street,” interrogating “violent criminals,” and investigating “homicides and gang shootings” – will help other members of the committee understand more about police work. National Police Week kicked off Monday with the observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day. Biden was slated to give a speech at a Monday event honoring the fallen police officers across the country, but pulled out at the last minute stating that he would attend his granddaughter’s graduation. The president’s name and designation as a keynote speaker had already been printed on distributed programs.

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