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

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:

July 17, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04) recently received the 2018 Security Industry Association (SIA) Legislator of the Year award for his work authoring H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, which was signed into law in March as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. Upon receiving the award, Congressman Rutherford released the following statement:

May 31, 2018 In The News
The two Florida congressmen who led the charge in the U.S. House to pass the “Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act” are now calling on the U.S. Department of Justice for guidance on how to implement it. U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., brought out the bill at the start of the year with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., as a co-sponsor. Introduced at the end of January, before the Parkland shooting, the proposal “would create a grant program to train students, teachers, school officials, and local law enforcement how to identify and intervene early when signs of violence arise, create a coordinated reporting system, and implement FBI & Secret Service-based school threat assessment protocols to prevent school shootings before they happen" and “would boost school efforts to develop violence prevention programs and coordinate with law enforcement to improve school.”
May 30, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL), as well as the original cosponsors of the STOP School Violence Act – Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) – led a letter signed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that the Department of Justice work quickly to release guidance for the school security grant programs funded by the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus bill that was passed in March.
May 8, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman and former sheriff of Jacksonville, John Rutherford (FL-04), together with Congresswoman and former chief of the Orlando Police Department, Val Demings (FL-10), introduced H.R. 5698, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018. This bipartisan bill would create federal penalties for individuals who deliberately target local, state, or federal law enforcement officers with violence...
November 30, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Rutherford released the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) and the Fix NICS Act, two commonsense measures aimed at preventing violence.  The bills now advance to the full House for consideration. 

July 18, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Rutherford introduced legislation to allow job creators who have been in the U.S. on an E-2 investor treaty visa for more than 10 years to apply for legal permanent residence. The bill, H.R. 3265, would also allow the children of these visa holders to remain in the country until they are 26 and apply for work authorization.

June 21, 2017 In The News

John Rutherford

Freshman U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., was named to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. 

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, made the announcement after the House Republican Steering Committee’s recommendation of adding Rutherford to the committee cleared the Republican Conference.

June 13, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rutherford was appointed to serve on the House Judiciary Committee.

Congressman Rutherford said, “I am excited to have been appointed to the House Judiciary Committee. As a former Sheriff, I have committed my life to strengthening the justice system in Northeast Florida, and I am grateful for this opportunity to support the rule of law across our nation. I look forward to working with Chairman Goodlatte and thank him for appointing me to a strong committee focused on upholding the Constitution.”