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Toomey-Led Measure to Protect Federal Correctional Officers Approved by Senate

December 20, 2018

Washington, D.C. - This week, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, the First Step Act, with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey's (R-Pa.) support. The First Step Act contains a bill authored by Senator Toomey that will help protect federal correctional officers.

Senator Toomey's bipartisan bill, the Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati Correctional Officer Self-Protection Act, requires the federal Bureau of Prisons (BoP) to provide a safe means for federal correctional officers to store their personal firearms while at work - either in a central storage area located at the prison or in a BoP-approved vehicle lockbox.

"Federal correctional officers place themselves in harm's way every day to protect the rest of us," said Senator Toomey. "Given the dangers they face, correctional officers should have the ability to defend themselves while on and off duty. This legislation will directly benefit the officers who serve at Pennsylvania's seven federally-operated prison facilities. I am proud to have led the fight for this commonsense measure."

This legislation was inspired by the tragic case of Lt. Osvaldo Albarati, who was shot dead in 2013 while driving on the expressway after completing his shift as a federal correctional officer in Puerto Rico. Three inmates hired the shooter to murder Lt. Albarati. Due to Bureau of Prisons policy, Lt. Albarati was unarmed and unable to defend himself.

Senator Toomey's bipartisan legislation was endorsed by:

  • AFGE Council of Prison Locals, AFL-CIO 
  • Corrections, USA
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • National Association of Police Organizations