Opposition to Limitation on Asset Forfeiture Statutes

WHEREAS, the citizens of the United States of America are victims of illicit drug trafficking and use and violent crime; and WHEREAS, the only purpose of drug trafficking is for the drug traffickers to make a profit and to amass wealth for their personal use and to continue their illegal activities, often through ruthless and violent means, at the expense of the American public; and WHEREAS, drug traffickers have acquired billions of dollars, mansions, luxury vehicles, artwork, jewelry, and other expensive personal assets as fruits of their criminal activities; and WHEREAS, no one should profit from their crimes and from the suffering of innocent people; and WHEREAS, the U.S. citizens have mandated that law enforcement officials disrupt and stop drug trafficking organizations from manufacturing and distributing illegal drugs and spreading violence in their communities; and WHEREAS, law enforcement officials have found the forfeiture of drug traffickers’ assets to be an extremely effective weapon to deprive drug trafficking organizations of the means used to commit their crimes and the profit from their illegal activities; and WHEREAS, the forfeiture of drug traffickers' assets effectively dismantles and incapacitates drug Mafia organizations; and WHEREAS, recognizing the significant responsibility that accompanies asset seizure and forfeiture authority, law enforcement officials must continue to strictly follow a code of ethics which safeguards the rights of property owners, and law enforcement managers must remain vigilant in their supervision of forfeiture training, programs and activities; and WHEREAS, forfeited property and money are used to help victims of crime and communities and to enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to protect the public form drug trafficking and other crimes; and WHEREAS, legislative proposals have been introduced that would make it more difficult for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to successfully seize and forfeit the profits of drug trafficking so that they can be used to benefit the honest public; now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police duly assembled at its 106th Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, strongly opposes any attempt to limit the asset forfeiture authority that has proven to be so helpful in the war against drugs and violent crime; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED, that given the international nature of drug trafficking, the IACP encourages all nations to preserve the effectiveness of their anti-drug efforts by opposing efforts to limit their respective asset forfeiture statutes. FURTHER RESOLVED, that in those nations which do not have asset forfeiture statutes, the IACP encourages the government to consider authorizing the use of this valuable anti-crime capability.