Senator Clinton Joins Mayor Robert Duffy, Deputy Police Chief George Markert, Monroe County D.A. Mike Green and Others to Discuss Local and Federal Initiatives to Combat Violence and Crime
Senator Clinton is Working with Her Colleagues in the Senate on a Number of Initiatives to Assist Local Communities Address Gangs and Violent Crime
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today joined with Mayor Robert Duffy, Deputy Police Chief George Markert and other law enforcement personnel for a briefing at the Rochester Police Department Public Safety Building to discuss local and federal initiatives being undertaken to address crime and violence.
Following the briefing at the Public Safety Building, Senator Clinton announced that she has written to the Department of Justice in support of the City of Rochester Police Department's Byrne Grant to establish the SAFE Rochester Initiative (SRI), their coordinated, community-based crime prevention effort.
The Senator said she is also working to secure federal funds for the Monroe County Regional Crime Laboratory. Senator Clinton acquired preliminary approval for the funds last year and said she would renew her efforts in the coming fiscal year. The funds would be used to add modules of a new Crime Lab in order to eliminate the 2-5 year backlog in cases of evidence analysis to effectively and fairly support the criminal justice system.
"What we are seeing in Rochester and Monroe County is being felt in cities across our country. However, while the tide of crime has risen, the Administration and the Republican Congress have continued to leave cities and counties out in the cold. Rochester deserves a partner in the federal government in the fight against crime. Local leaders and law enforcement are taking innovative, energetic, active steps to combat crime and they deserve a national response that helps them as they keep work to their communities safe," Senator Clinton said. "I am committed to doing whatever I can to ensure that Rochester and Monroe County law enforcement have the resources, tools, and policies they need to do their jobs and keep our neighborhoods safe for everyone."
Senator Clinton is working with her Senate colleagues on a number of anti-crime measures, including legislation to combat gang violence and increase the number of police on the streets.
Senator Clinton is an original cosponsor of the Gang Abatement and Prevention Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide more than $1 billion in funding for successful gang prevention, intervention, and suppression. The bill, which was approved last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, would also create tough federal penalties to deter and to punish members of illegal street gangs.
Senator Clinton has also authored legislation with Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to remove language that bars the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) from disclosing federal gun-trace data, even to local law enforcement, except under limited circumstances. Otherwise known as the "Tiahrt Amendment", these restrictions have made it more difficult and more dangerous for police officers to combat crime. Senator Clinton also recently applauded her colleague Senator Mikulski who is seeking to remove the language from the Senate version of the Commerce-Justice-Science Fiscal Year 2008 Appropriations bill.
Senator Clinton also continues to champion the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which has put over 100,000 new police officers on our streets since the program's creation in 1994. She is an original cosponsor of the COPS Improvement Act of 2007, legislation to reauthorize and make critical improvements to the federal COPS program. Despite the program's success, the Administration has tried time and again to make drastic cuts to the COPS program. In the 2008 budget, the President slashed COPS funding by 94 percent - cutting funding from $542 million in FY 2007 to $32 million in FY 2008.