Biden: No Coincidence Violent Crime is Up While Administration Shortchanges Law Enforcement
In the wake of a new report out today by the Police Executive Research Forum that violent crime is up by double digits, U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), the author of the landmark 1994 Crime Bill which put 100,000 new cops on the streets, reiterated his call to fully-fund the successful and cost-effective COPS program.
"After years of driving crime rates down, we're now in reverse gear. It's no coincidence that the violent crime rate has gone up during the same period this Administration has shortchanged law enforcement," said Sen. Biden. Sen. Biden recently introduced legislation to hire 50,000 new cops nationwide. His legislation would restore the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program - a productive law enforcement strategy created through the 1994 Crime Bill. In addition to putting additional officers on the streets, Biden's legislation also includes funding for the School Resource Officer program which is aimed at combating violence in schools.
"There can be no doubt that the COPS program was a success," said Senator Biden. "In 1994 we had historically high rates of violent crimes. Because we put more cops on the streets, we were able to reduce these crimes to the lowest levels in a generation."
The Brookings Institution published a policy briefing this month (March 2007 Briefing #158) entitled, "MORE COPS." The authors, Yale economist John Donohue, III and Georgetown economist Jens Ludwig state that the COPS program contributed to the drop in crime during the 1990s and is one of the most cost-effective options for fighting crime. The policy briefing states that each $1.4 billion invested in the COPS program is likely to generate a benefit to society from $6 billion to $12 billion.
"Even in the face of such proven success, the Bush Administration has all but eliminated the COPS program," said Senator Biden. "Overall funding for state and local law enforcement programs has been slashed by billions and the COPS hiring program has been completely cut. And violent crime is up. It doesn't take much to figure out the connection - and it doesn't take much to know how to turn it around," added Sen. Biden.
Sen. Joe Biden has dedicated his career to fighting crime and protecting families. He is the author of the historic 1994 Crime Bill which helped reduce crime nationwide by funding more than 100,000 police officers through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. In addition, Sen. Biden has pushed for the creation of a Homeland Security Trust Fund. This legislation would create a dedicated fund for the implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, restoration of funding for local law enforcement and make other critical homeland security upgrades.