We Must Invest More in Crime-Fighting Basics

Press Release

By:  Joe Biden, Jr.
Date: Sept. 15, 2008
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, reiterated his call for the Congress and the Administration to fully fund state and local law enforcement in the wake of new data from the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report showing violent crime in Delaware is up 2.4 percent.

"Our first and most solemn duty in government is to protect our citizens and safeguard our communities," said Sen. Biden. "But 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. We need to return to what works. We need to go back to basics: full funding for state and local law enforcement and a comprehensive approach to fighting crime. Delaware's men and women in uniform deserve federal support and the citizens of Delaware deserve a safe and secure community."

A crime fighting innovator, Senator Biden is the author of the landmark 1994 Crime Bill, which is credited by many with driving crime rates to record lows in the 1990s. Despite drastic cuts in law enforcement over the past eight years, Senator Biden has kept up the fight to strengthen federal law enforcement, increase federal support to community-oriented policing, invest in prevention and drug treatment programs and provide services to the victims of crime. For example, just in the past year, Senator Biden:

Wrote 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 (P.L. 110-199);

Introduced and passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee 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 (S.3136);

Fought for $1.5 billion for prevention, drug treatment and law enforcement programs (S.2237);

Authored legislation 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 (S.1738);

Pushed 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 (S.2237); and

Wrote the Badge of Bravery Act to recognize and honor the men and women who protect and serve our communities every day, which was also recently signed into law (P.L. 110-298).

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.

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