On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and urge him or her to vote NO on the Probation Officer Protection Act, H.R. 1039. Although the bill may have good intentions, it presents a serious conflict with the Fourth Amendment and expands the policing powers of federal probation officers.
While there is a need to protect law enforcement officers who are performing their duties, the Probation Officer Protection Act is an answer in search of a problem. Interference with a federal probation officer is already unlawful and current law already allows a law enforcement officer to arrest an individual or individuals who obstruct a federal probation officer during the performance of their duties.
The instances in which third parties obstruct a federal probation officer are rare. According to the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System, less than 4 percent of third parties were uncooperative during pre-approved searches