Fraternal Order Of Police Gives Support To Meehan

Delaware County Times

The Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police endorsed U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, in his run for re-election against Democrat George Badey.

The announcement was made by Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police President Les Neri and Delaware County FOP Lodge 27 President Joseph Fitzgerald outside of the county courthouse in Media on Friday.

Meehan was a Delaware County district attorney and then U.S. Attorney before being elected to Congress.

“He worked on the front lines at various crime scenes as they were developing,” Fitzgerald said, adding that Meehan brought the same work ethic to Congress.

Meehan is finishing up his first two-year term in Congress. He faces Badey, an attorney and chairman of the Radnor Democratic Party, in the Nov. 6 election.

Neri said Meehan has proven his commitment to constituents of Pennsylvania and the law-enforcement community. Neri said his organization represents about 41,000 law enforcement officers statewide.

Meehan said he was grateful for the support of the FOP. He said he joined an effort to request that funding for the Regional Information Sharing Systems program be restored to the previous years’ levels.

When the House voted on appropriations for the Department of Justice, U.S. Rep Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., offered an amendment to restore the funding for the program at $45 million. Meehan said he helped with efforts to pass the amendment for the program, which was designed to help different levels of law enforcement share information to fight crime and terrorism.

Meehan voted against House Resolution 4970, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012, because he believed it missed a critical opportunity to strengthen protections for women on campus.

Meehan also said he opposed the bill because it would make it more difficult for immigrants who are victims of domestic violence to seek help from authorities. He said it would also water down requirements that state officials closely coordinate with local law enforcement rape crisis centers and women’s advocates in the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act programs and grants. The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration.

While Meehan received the endorsement of the FOP Friday, he did take some heat from other members of the law-enforcement community last year when he voted in favor of the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. The National Rifle Association backed the bill which would have required states to accept concealed carry gun permits granted by almost every other state.

Some members of the law-enforcement community, including members of the Delaware County Police Chiefs Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, voiced concerns about the bill last year. Local law enforcement officials said they weren’t against Second Amendment rights but were concerned the bill would create a “lowest common denominator” approach to public safety and make it more difficult to prosecute gun traffickers.

In response to that criticism, Meehan’s spokeswoman Maureen Keith said Pennsylvania had right-to-carry reciprocity agreements with at least 26 other states. “Crossing state lines does not mean law-abiding Pennsylvanians lose their constitutionality protected right to self-defense,” she said at the time.

The House passed the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 on Nov. 16, 2011 in a 272-154 vote, with only seven Republicans voting against it and 43 Democrats supporting it. House Resolution 822 was sent to the Senate but no action was taken there.

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