U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS), today introduced an amendment to the fiscal year 2010 CJS Appropriations bill to provide danger pay to U.S. Marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents who put their lives on the line in dangerous foreign countries to protect our nation and our citizens.
“Every week, we read about the gruesome murders of Mexican law enforcement officers, many of whom have our own federal agents serving at their side,” said Shelby. “Currently, FBI and DEA agents receive danger pay when on duty in Mexico, while U.S. Marshals and ATF agents do not. It is outrageous that these agents, serving their country and risking their lives on a daily basis, do not receive this compensation like their Department of Justice counterparts. It should be a priority to not only ensure the safety and security of all DOJ personnel, but also provide them with the benefits and resources needed for the hardship and sacrifice they are making.”
U.S. Marshals and ATF agents are actively assisting Mexican law enforcement and the Mexican military in one of the bloodiest wars in the world today – the Mexican Drug War. There have been nearly 10,000 drug-war murders and deaths in Mexico since January, 2007. President Calderon has deployed 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police to 18 Mexican states to help combat these cartels. Senator Shelby’s amendment would bring danger pay parity to DOJ’s federal law enforcement officers such as those who face risks in Mexico.