HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today announced that seven district attorneys and six sheriffs serving counties across the 11th Congressional District have endorsed him for re-election. The list includes both Republicans and Democrats and highlights Barletta’s unwavering commitment to work with everyone, regardless of party affiliation, in order to get things done for his constituents.
“As a former mayor, I know how important it is for local, state, and federal law enforcement officials and legislators to work together,” Barletta said. “I am honored to have the support of the men and women who keep our communities safe.”
Barletta has consistently backed efforts to provide local law enforcement with the resources they need to protect their communities. Barletta supports funding for vital law enforcement grants, such as the COPS and Byrne JAG programs, and has assisted local police departments to secure these grants. He has fought for gang task force funding and joined Democratic state Sen. John Yudichak to create Operation Gang Up, a community-based organization that connects citizens, law enforcement and elected officials to help identify, fight and prevent the spread of gangs.
“Congressman Barletta has been a close ally in the fight to uphold our laws, keep dangerous criminals off our streets, and fight the heroin and opioid epidemic that is plaguing our communities,” Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said. “Our neighborhoods are safer because of Lou Barletta and I am proud to continue to support him for re-election.”
The district attorneys and sheriffs endorsing Barletta are:
Thomas Leipold, Columbia County
David Freed, Cumberland County
Ed Marsico, Dauphin County
Stefanie Salavantis, Luzerne County
Angela Mattis, Montour County
Tony Matulewicz, Northumberland County
Andrew Bender, Perry County
Tim Chamberlain, Columbia County
Ronny Anderson, Cumberland County
Nicholas Chimienti Jr., Dauphin County
Ray Gerringer, Montour County
Carl Nace, Perry County
Ned Sherman, Wyoming County
“As someone who began his law enforcement career as a correctional officer before working my way up through the ranks to sheriff, I appreciate the work Congressman Barletta is doing for all levels of law enforcement,” Cumberland County Sheriff Ronny Anderson said. “We need leaders like Lou who understand the concerns of our communities and know how to get things done.”
This Congress, Barletta cosponsored and helped to usher passage of the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act, which grants pepper spray to correctional workers and is named after a correctional officer in the 11th District who was murdered on duty. And as a Member of the Homeland Security Committee, Barletta has fought for better coordination between local and federal law enforcement. He authored the Fusion Center Enhancement Act, which would strengthen information sharing between the national network of federal, state, and local law enforcement entities to improve their ability to detect, prevent, and respond to terrorist or criminal activity. This bill passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.
Barletta continues to lead the bipartisan effort in Congress to combat our nation’s heroin and opioid epidemic. He helped to draft comprehensive legislation, which is now law, cracking down on illegal drug dealers, supporting addiction recovery efforts, and funding drug courts, among other approaches. He joined a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania members of the House of Representatives in urging Gov. Tom Wolf to issue state guidelines for prescribing naloxone, the antidote to acute opioid toxicity, or overdose. Understanding that fighting drug addiction requires a community approach, Barletta is convening public forums across the 11th District to discuss the growing opioid epidemic and efforts underway to combat the problem.
Barletta also believes that local law enforcement should have the ability to purchase surplus federal equipment, such as armored vehicles and riot gear, and he opposes the Obama Administration’s ban of the sale of military-style gear to local departments.