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Public Statements

Letter to Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby - Funding for Essential Resources State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA

Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pushed to protect funding for federal programs that aid local law enforcement. Mayor Tom Leighton and local law enforcement joined Senator Casey. Senator Casey has previously called on the Administration to increase crucial federal funding to help local law enforcement keep communities safe: Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program, Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) Program, and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program.

"Wilkes-Barre police has made a significant effort to reduce crime and keep the community safe. It's incumbent upon Congress to make sure police officers have the necessary resources to do their jobs" Senator Casey said. "The law enforcement cuts that the House is proposing are wholly irresponsible and will make the job of police officers more challenging. I'm urging the Senate to reject these cuts and ensure that police departments like Wilkes-Barre have the tools they need to combat crime."

The full text of Senator Casey's letter can be seen below:

The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski
Chairwoman
Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee
Senate Committee on Appropriations

The Honorable Richard C. Shelby
Ranking Member
Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee
Senate Committee on Appropriations

Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby:

As you begin consideration of the Fiscal Year 2014 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill, I write to convey my support for funding that provides essential resources state and local law enforcement agencies. The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) program and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program are three critically important investments that help law enforcement officers keep local communities safe.

I also wish to express my concern about the drastic cuts proposed in the House Appropriations Committee, which would reduce Department of Justice grant programs by $357 million in the upcoming fiscal year. Moreover, the House proposal would eliminate funding entirely for COPS and the Bulletproof Vest partnership program. At a time when many communities in Pennsylvania and across the Nation continue to struggle with violent crime, cuts to local law enforcement are dangerous and short-sighted.

Since 1993, communities across the Nation have successfully leveraged COPS grants, including COPS Hiring programs grants, to prevent violent crime and to ensure immediate and thorough responses to crimes. Similarly, the Byrne-JAG program has supported innovation and helped law enforcement agencies implement evidence-based strategies through flexible funds that can be used in a variety of ways to address local needs for equipment and resources. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership program has enabled departments to purchase much-needed vests that are critical to officer safety.

I appreciate the leadership you have shown in supporting state and local law enforcement funding in the past, and I urge you to continue to provide robust funding for Byrne JAG, COPS, and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program in Fiscal Year 2014. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator


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