Washington, D.C. – During National Police Week, U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood (IL-16) and Mike Bost (IL-12) reintroduced the David Dorn Thin Blue Line Retention Act in the U.S. House to raise police officer salaries and hire more police officers. 

“As a state and federal prosecutor, I spent countless hours with law enforcement officials who do heroic work, day-in-and-day-out, to protect and serve our communities in central and west-central Illinois,“ said Rep. LaHood. “It’s disappointing that some politicians and big-city mayors have sought to undermine the ability of our law enforcement to protect and serve their communities. I am proud to join Congressman Bost on this bill again because I see firsthand the sacrifices the men and women who button up the blue uniform make to keep Illinoisans safe. To Illinois police officers: I support you and will always have your back in Congress.”

“Defunding the police will not make our communities safer – in fact, the statistics prove the opposite. Now more than ever, it is critical that we provide our men and women in blue with the resources and training they need to keep our communities safe. I’m proud to once again support the David Dorn Thin Blue Line Retention Act and stand with our law enforcement officials in Southern Illinois and around the nation,” said Rep. Bost.

The David Dorn Thin Blue Line Retention Act:

  • Authorizes $15 billion through the Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement departments to boost their department personnel.
  • Retains existing funding for the Mental Health and Wellness Act services at a minimum level in an effort to not negatively impact existing mental health services; provides that only funding appropriated over the currently authorized level of $7.5M can be used for the purposes of the bill.
  • Provides funding for additional officer hires and officer retention for departments that need more manpower on their police forces.
  • Gives pay raises to officers by allowing recipients to use federal funds to raise the salaries of officers up to 110 percent of the local median earnings.
  • Excludes cities that defund their police by not allowing any department to receive money for pay raises that recently cut officer salaries.
  • Includes language to ensure that an agency that has reduced salaries in the year prior due to COVID-19 related budget constraints are not penalized, only those seeking to dismantle law enforcement agencies.

The legislation is named in honor of David Dorn, a retired St. Louis Police captain, who was killed on June 2, 2020, while protecting a friend’s store during a violent night of rioting in St. Louis. He served for 38 years with the St. Louis Police Department.