By Meredith Ward, Manager, Legislative and Media Affairs, IACP
s part of the recent budget agreement between Congress and the Obama administration, the fiscal year (FY) 2011 funding levels for several critical law enforcement assistance programs were reduced. In fact, the cuts totaled nearly $1 billion.
Following is a breakdown of these cuts:
|Program||Funding Level||Reduction from FY 2010|
|Byrne-JAG||$431 million||-$88 million|
|Byrne Discretionary||$0||-$185 million|
|Community Oriented Policing Services||$495 million||-$296 million|
|State Homeland Security Grant Program||$725 million||-$225 million|
|Urban Area Security Initiative||$725 million||-$162 million|
The IACP will continue to work with both members of Congress and the Obama administration to restore these cuts in the FY 2012 budget cycle.
D-Block Legislation Gains Momentum
For many years, the IACP has been working towards having 700 megahertz (MHz) D-Block to be reallocated for an effective, nationwide, public safety wireless broadband network. Two pieces of legislation would achieve this goal: The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act, S. 28, sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and the Broadband for First Responders Act, H.R. 607, sponsored by Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS).
The IACP has been heavily involved in making sure the legislation gains momentum, and S. 28 is expected to be marked up in early summer.
Additionally, in late April, IACP President Mark A. Marshall sent a letter to IACP membership requesting that all IACP members contact their senators and representatives and ask them to support both pieces of legislation. Thanks to the hard work of our membership, several letters have been sent and many members have indicated they will send letters.
S. 28 and H.R. 607 would provide law enforcement and other public safety agencies with an additional 10 MHz of spectrum that is necessary to support a nationwide, interoperable, wireless broadband network that will help law enforcement officers fulfill their mission of protecting lives in communities throughout the United States.
Law enforcement and public safety must have a minimum of 20 MHz of broadband spectrum to meet current and future needs and must have access to new technologies to perform increasingly complex duties. These technologies must have adequate and dedicated spectrum that is managed and controlled by public safety to ensure that they will be more secure and reliable than commercial broadband systems. The D-Block allocation to public safety and federal funding is essential if technology is to accommodate the critical needs of the U.S. law enforcement and public safety community.
All of the major national public safety organizations support this legislation, including the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Police Executive Research Forum, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, the National Association of State EMS Officials, the National Criminal Justice Association, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, the National Troopers’ Coalition, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
Additionally, many state, local, and tribal government organizations support it, including the National Governors Association, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the United States Conference of Mayors, the Council of State Governments, the International City/County Management Association, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
For more information on the D-Block legislation and to receive assistance in sending a letter to members of Congress, contact Meredith Ward at WardM@theiacp.org.
The IACP Continues to Push for Crime Commission Bill
The IACP continues to push for the passage of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, S. 306. The legislation currently has 22 cosponsors. S. 305 directs the commission to study all areas of the criminal justice system, including federal, state, local, and tribal governments’ criminal justice costs, practices, and policies. After conducting the review, the commission will make recommendations for changes in or continuation of oversight, policies, practices, and laws designed to prevent, deter, and reduce crime and violence; improve cost-effectiveness; and ensure the interests of justice.
For more than twenty years, the IACP has advocated for the creation of a commission that would follow in the footsteps of the 1965 Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. The IACP believes that the work of that commission and the 200 recommendations it produced marked the beginning of a sea change in law enforcement’s methods for dealing with crime and the public and built the framework for many of the highly effective law enforcement and public safety initiatives that have been in place for the last forty years. The IACP will continue to work with Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) to ensure the successful passage of S. 306 in the 112th congressional session. ■
Please cite as:
Meredith Ward, "Congress Reaches FY 2011 Budget Agreement," Legislative Alert, The Police Chief 78 (June 2011): 8.