By Merideth Mays, Legislative Representative, IACP
ACP president Russell Laine recently sent a letter to U.S. president-elect Barack Obama requesting that, under his administration, critical state, local, and tribal law enforcement assistance grants be restored. President Laine stressed that programs like the Edward R. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG), the Community Oriented Policing Services Grant Program (COPS), the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSG), the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), and the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP) have suffered significant budget reductions in recent years despite their proven records in helping law enforcement agencies to fight crime effectively.
The IACP requested that each program be fully funded at the following levels:
- Byrne-JAG: $1.1 billion
- COPS: $1.05 billion
- SHSG: $1.7 billion
- UASI: $1.4 billion
- LETPP: $500 million
President Laine also called for the establishment of a Law Enforcement and Terrorism Prevention Trust Fund similar to what was created as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
With the 1994 crime bill, Congress established the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund, which set aside more than $30 billion to fund the law enforcement assistance programs and other anticrime initiatives created in the 1994 bill. This trust fund provided the law enforcement community with a consistent funding stream during the late 1990s. President Laine requested that this trust fund be set, at a minimum, to the 1994 level of $30 billion.
In the letter to President-elect Obama, President Laine stated,
The IACP is very concerned that the debate over funding for the various law enforcement assistance programs listed above has become increasingly partisan over the past several years. The IACP believes that this issue is too important to the safety of our communities and our nation to allow political differences to delay or reduce funding. It is the IACP’s belief that, if funding cuts of this magnitude are sustained, it will severely reduce, if not cripple, the ability of law enforcement agencies to protect their communities from crime and violence.
The IACP respectfully urges you to reverse this trend and restore necessary resources available that will allow state, local and tribal law enforcement to receive the resources they need to ensure that they have the equipment, assets, training, and staffing necessary to fulfill their mission.
For more information on cuts to critical state, local, and tribal law enforcement assistance programs, please review the IACP analysis of the president’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009, which may be found on the IACP’s Web site.1
Obama Names Justice, DHS Nominees
President-elect Obama recently named his nominees for the next attorney general of the United States and secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: former deputy attorney general Eric Holder Jr. and Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, respectively.
Holder served as deputy attorney general under the Clinton administration and served briefly under President Bush as acting attorney general pending the confirmation of John Ashcroft. Before that time, Holder was nominated by President Reagan to become an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and served in that post for five years. Holder also served for nearly four years as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Upon announcing the nomination of Holder, President-elect Obama said the former deputy attorney general is “deeply familiar with the law enforcement challenges we face—from terrorism to counterintelligence; from white collar crime to public corruption.”2
Napolitano is currently serving her second term as governor of Arizona after being reelected in 2006. Before serving as governor, she served as Arizona attorney general and U.S. Attorney for the state of Arizona. As governor of Arizona, Napolitano implemented the first state homeland security strategy in the United States and opened the first state counterterrorism center; she is described as “a leader in coordinating federal, state, local and bi-national homeland security efforts.”3
Upon announcing the nomination of Napolitano, President-elect Obama stated that the Arizona governor “knows firsthand the need to have a partner in Washington that works well with state and local governments.”4
The IACP will work closely with the heads of these respective agencies in the next administration. ■
1International Association of Chiefs of Police, The Impact of the Proposed FY 2009 Budget on State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement, http://www.theiacp.org/documents/pdfs/Publications/TGD58843.pdf (accessed December 10, 2008).
2“Obama’s National Security Team Announcement,”
New York Times, December 1, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/us/politics/01text-obama.html?pagewanted=2&ref=politics (accessed December 10, 2008).
3Foon Rhee, “Obama Names National Security Team,” Boston.com, December 1, 2008, http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/12/obama_names_nat.html (accessed December 10, 2008).
4“Obama’s National Security Team Announcement.”