There has been much criticism from the right and left of the President’s new budget. But regardless of the political bombs being thrown back and forth, the administration saw fit to provide US law enforcement with over $100 in grants for anti-crime and crime prevention, including funds for “smart” probation programs and programs aimed at treating and assisting children who have been the victims or witnesses of violence. These funds go along with the Obama administration’s focus on improving the civil rights enforcement and developing effective offender reentry programs.
Part of the funds will also be used in early-intervention programs for children, seeking to prevent crime before it happens. A North Carolina news network recently did a story on just such a program. Watch the video after the jump.
Since we’re already halfway through the summer stimulus spending schedule, it might be a good idea to sit down and look at where our federal funds are going across the country and for what. The White House released these 12 maps that constitute a “Roadmap to Recovery” back in June, so that the President and the rest of us can see where our tax dollars are going to work.
Although, for us map geeks, the data presentation is interesting to look at, there is a law enforcement map on page 15 of the report. The map is called “Providing Safe and Secure Neighborhoods for American Families” and it plots the locations of all the LEAs that have applied for COPS grants to keep officers on the street or hire new officers. Whether all those departments will actually receive funding remains to be seen.
Obama’s multi-billion dollar economic stimulus bill has promised law enforcement around the country $4 billion in crime prevention and crime fighting grants. $1 billion of that money is intended for hiring more law enforcement officers nationwide. Although many agencies have already applied for the money, it has not yet been disbursed. However, Dave Buchanan, acting director of the federal COPS programs, recently said that the money will be on the way in the next two weeks.
I’m sure there are many LEAs across the country have been crossing their fingers. Just know that you’ll have to keep them crossed for another couple weeks, but the money is on the way.
With the help of two civilian employees, the Tucson, Arizona, police are making headway in their cold case unit. The two employees, hired with a $449,000 grant, have been hired to review homicides, write case summaries, search for possible suspects and witnesses, and identify items for DNA testing. And with their help the cold case unit is already starting to make more arrests and make more headway in cases that have been cold for decades.
This is a great example of how civilians are getting involved in law enforcement and proving to be a great asset to local investigations.
Police Departments, who were once thought to be immune from economic trends, have recently found themselves with a budget crunch due to the recent economic downturn. Many agencies are faced with cutting down their police force and are concerned about providing a lower level of service to their communities. As an alternative, many agencies have applied for federal grant money under the COPS programs, but with only $1 billion in funding available and more that $8 billion in requested funds, some agencies will find themselves coming up short.