Biden Lays Out Steps to Ensure Safety and Security for all Delawareans

Press Release

By:  Joe Biden, Jr.
Date: July 28, 2008
Location: New Castle, DE

BIDEN Lays Out Steps to Ensure Safety and Security for all Delawareans

BIDEN: "Our first and most solemn duty in government is to protect our citizens and safeguard our communities."

BIDEN: "We need to return to what works - full funding for state and local law enforcement and a comprehensive approach to fighting crime."

Today U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) laid out a comprehensive approach to fighting crime and making sure our streets are safe during a press conference at the New Castle County Police Headquarters. Sen. Biden was joined at this event by a group of Delaware law enforcement experts in all aspects of preventing and fighting crime including New Castle County Police Colonel Rick Gregory; President of the Delaware Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police Vince DiSabitino; U.S. Chief Probation Officer Jack McDonough; Special Prosecutor Donnie Roberts; and Executive Director of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence Carol Post.

"Our first and most solemn duty in government is to protect our citizens and safeguard our communities," said Sen. Biden. "We've seen drastic cuts in funding over the past several years for state and local law enforcement officers who are on the front lines of this fight every day - making it even more difficult to protect a growing population."

As federal funding for law enforcement was decimated in 2005 and 2006, crime rates rose in consecutive years for the first time in 15 years.

In 2008, grant money to states and localities for prevention, drug treatment, law enforcement training, and other crime fighting programs was slashed by 67 percent. Put simply, our state and local law enforcement agencies are being asked to do more and more - with fewer resources.

Sen. Biden has been working in the Congress to address this problem immediately - by spearheading legislation to strengthen federal law enforcement, increase federal support to community-oriented policing, investing in prevention and drug treatment programs and providing services to the victims of crime, including:

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Writing the Second Chance Act, which the President signed into law, to break the cycle of recidivism and provide drug rehabilitation, job training, and housing for offenders who have served their time so that they're released into our communities as productive, law-abiding citizens;
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Introducing a bill to improve the national fugitive database and increase funding for the U.S. Marshals services to protect Delaware's communities against the hundreds of thousands of dangerous fugitives who currently escape justice merely by crossing state lines;
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Fighting for $1.5 billion each year for prevention, drug treatment, and law enforcement programs;
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Authoring bills to enhance child exploitation investigations and permit youth organizations to check the backgrounds of their volunteers because there is nothing more important than protecting our children;
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Pushing the Administration to hire an additional 1,000 FBI agents and 500 Drug Enforcement agents because the hard-working men and women in Delaware's police forces deserve an effective federal partner; and
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Writing the Badge of Bravery Act to recognize and honor the men and women who protect and serve our communities every day, which is headed to the President's desk for signature in the coming weeks.

"We need to return to what works - full funding for state and local law enforcement and a comprehensive approach to fighting crime," Sen. Biden added. "Delaware's men and women in uniform deserve federal support and the citizens of Delaware deserve communities where it is safe to raise a family, send a child to school, work an honest job, or run a business."

Since coming to the Senate, Senator Biden has written some of the most innovative criminal justice proposals in recent history, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, also known as the Biden Crime Bill. The 1994 law put more than 100,000 additional police officers on the streets; assisted states in building prisons and boot camps to make punishing crime more cost-effective; helped fund "drug courts" that combine intensive supervision, drug testing and treatment for non-violent first offenders; and supported existing juvenile crime prevention programs that are proven successes.

The law also banned 19 of the deadliest assault weapons, and increased penalties for interstate gun trafficking. The Biden Crime Bill is widely credited with the dramatic drop in crime rates during the 1990s. To re-establish the Federal, State and local partnership that helped reduce crime to historic lows in the 1990s, Senator Biden introduced the 2007 Biden Crime Bill, the most comprehensive anti-crime legislation in over a decade.

Senator Biden is also the author of the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act.