Forging strong and productive relationships with law enforcement has been a priority for the American Trucking Associations, and the value of these relationships is proving itself as we navigate the current COVID-19 crisis. To ensure the continuity of trucking operations across the country, we are working hand-in-glove with partners throughout law enforcement to ensure our trucks keep rolling and that essential loads continue to reach grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies and other critical destinations safely and efficiently.
As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security developed its Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce guidance, ATA engaged prominent law enforcement organizations to reinforce why the designation of “truck drivers” as a critical workforce by the federal government is imperative for both our industry and the law enforcement community. We shared this message with the:
- International Association of Chiefs of Police;
- Major Cities Chiefs Association;
- National Sheriffs’ Association;
- Major County Sheriffs of America;
- Fraternal Order of Police;
- International Association of Fire Chiefs;
- International Association of Fire Fighters;
- Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies;
- National Governors Association;
- National Association of Counties;
- National Conference of State Legislatures; and
- Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security.
As a result of this outreach, the national Fraternal Order of Police, which represents 350,000 police officers across the country, sent a letter to President Trump urging “truck drivers, truck stop and rest area workers, maintenance and repair technicians, dispatchers, towing/recovery and roadside assistance workers, warehouse workers, and intermodal transportation personnel be considered essential critical infrastructure workers for the duration of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”
FOP delivered a powerful message on behalf of the trucking industry to make clear that trucking operations are critical to resourcing law enforcement agencies and the communities whom they serve and protect. Shortly thereafter, DHS revised its list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to explicitly include truck drivers, thereby eliminating confusion within the industry and providing state and local officials with stronger guidance to base decisions on.
We have also been working closely with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to ensure roadside enforcement officials are up-to-date and fully informed on which loads qualify for regulatory relief under FMCSA’s emergency declaration. ATA President and CEO Chris Spear and CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney sent a joint letter to their members detailing how both organizations are working together to facilitate the continuity of operations throughout this continually shifting environment.