Community Safety

As a former Sheriff with over 40 years of law enforcement experience, nothing is more important to me than the safety and security of our community. In Congress, I’m advocating for policies focused on keeping kids safe in school, families safe at home, and police safe while doing their important and dangerous job. You may be interested to know some of the following legislative actions I’ve taken in this regard: 

  • Sponsored the bipartisan Protect and Serve Act to increase penalties for ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers.
  • Authored the STOP School Violence Act, signed into law in 2018, to improve student safety and prevent acts of violence before they happen. So far, $300 million in STOP School Violence grants have been made available to increase mental health resources, expand coordination with law enforcement, create tip lines, and update school security infrastructure at schools nationwide, including $500,000 for Duval County Public Schools.
  • Cosponsored H.R. 5229, the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, to create an information clearinghouse on school safety at the Department of Homeland Security. 
  • Supported the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act of 2019 to promote threat assessment trainings for law enforcement, mental health professionals, and educational institutions.
  • Advocated for the School Resource Officer Act of 2019 to hire additional School Resource Officers.
  • Introduced H.R. 2379 to provide bulletproof vests for state and local law enforcement agencies.
  • Cosponsored H.R. 1156, the LEOSA Reform Act, to continue concealed carry by retired law enforcement officers.
  • Introduced H.R. 5403, the Courthouse Dogs Act, to allow emotional support dogs in federal courthouses.

More on Community Safety

June 10, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Representatives John Rutherford (FL-04) and Al Lawson (FL-05) announce the introduction of H.Res. 463, a resolution to designate the week of June 6 through June 12, 2021, as National Child Abuse Prevention Week.

May 13, 2021 Press Release

Rutherford, Lawson, Watson Coleman, Katko Introduce the HELPER Act

May 11, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives John Rutherford (FL-04) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) reintroduced the Protect and Serve Act of 2021, which would create federal penalties for individuals who deliberately target law enforcement officers with violence. 

May 5, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. John Rutherford (FL-04), Charlie Crist (FL-13), and Val Demings (FL-10) have reintroduced the Foreign National Firearms Background Check Enhancement Act to close the ‘Pensacola loophole’ that allows foreign nationals who acquire a hunting license to legally purchase firearms.

April 29, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Reps. John Rutherford (R-FL-04) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Co-Chairs of the House Law Enforcement Caucus, led a bipartisan group of 159 members in requesting increased funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, demonstrating strong support for these grants across the political spectrum.

April 16, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives John Rutherford (FL-4) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) introduced bipartisan legislation to help public housing authorities equip their older units with sprinkler systems to improve the safety of residents and local communities. The Public Housing Fire Safety Act would create a program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide grants to public housing authorities that wish to retrofit older high-rise apartments.

March 18, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04) and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) relaunched the House Law Enforcement Caucus, a bipartisan group focused on supporting our law enforcement community.

February 3, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. ­­–– Today, U.S. Representatives John Rutherford (FL-4), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Ted Deutch (FL-22), and Stephanie Murphy (FL-7) reintroduced the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, the House companion to a Senate Bill introduced by Ron Johnson (R-WI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rick Scott (R-FL). This legislation codifies into law a federal clearinghouse that categorizes, assesses, and shares best practices for school safety measures and identifies the resources necessary to implement them.

January 3, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Trump has signed into law the Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Act of 2020, a bill introduced in the House by Representative John Rutherford (R-FL) and Representative David Trone (D-MD). This new law expands access to mental health services for individuals leaving the prison system, providing a “Continuity of Care” for those at risk of recidivism.

March 4, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman John Rutherford (FL-4), former sheriff of Jacksonville, and Congresswoman Val Demings (FL-10), former chief of the Orlando Police Department, announced that they reintroduced H.R. 1325, the Protect and Serve Act of 2019. This bill passed the House last year with overwhelming bipartisan support, but was not considered in the Senate. It would create federal penalties for individuals who deliberately target local, state, or federal law enforcement officers with violence.

Consider the following: