By Meredith Ward, Manager, Legislative and Media Affairs, IACP
|In late February, President Obama signed legislation that would allocate the D-Block to public safety. For information, visit http://www.theiacpblog.com. More coverage will be in the April issue of Police Chief magazine.|
he Obama administration recently released its fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget proposal. The proposal includes funding for U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) programs that fund state, local, and tribal assistance programs, such as the Edward R. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) and the Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) Hiring Program. The proposed DOJ budget includes $290 million for COPS, with $257 million set aside for hiring and $15 million set aside for training and technical assistance. The proposed budget also includes $413 million for the Byrne-JAG Program.
The proposal also includes funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes assistance grants for state, local, and tribal law enforcement. The proposed DHS budget would eliminate the State Homeland Security Grant Program, the Urban Area Security Initiative, and the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program. All three programs would be replaced with a National Preparedness Grant (NPGP) funded at $1.5 billion.
The NPGP is intended to focus on the development and the sustainment of National Incident Management System–type capabilities that can be utilized nationally and regionally. Examples of these capabilities include canine explosive detection teams, urban search and rescue teams, and hazardous materials teams.
The president’s submission of his budget proposal represents the first step in the federal budget process. Over the next several weeks, the House and Senate budget committees will begin work on drafting the Congressional Budget Resolution. This nonbinding document serves as a statement of Congress’s priorities in the budget process. At the same time, the various subcommittees of the House and Senate appropriations committees will begin their efforts to craft the annual appropriation bills that fund the federal government.
IACP Continues to Push for Commission on Criminal Justice
The IACP recently held the third in a series of live webinars intended to allow police chiefs throughout the country to exchange ideas and best practices and discuss the challenges they are facing and the solutions they have identified. Hundreds of chiefs from the United States and around the world joined the IACP for an informative and thoughtful discussion on the creation of a national commission on the criminal justice system. The webinar may be viewed by visiting http://www.theiacp.org/webinar and clicking Webinar Link.
For more than 20 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 work of that commission and the 200 recommendations it produced marked the beginning of a sea change in our 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 40 years.
A piece of legislation, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2011 (S. 306), introduced by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), would establish a commission similar to the 1965 commission. The legislation is strongly supported by the IACP as the establishment of a commission is one of the top priorities for the association. The legislation would allow for a long-overdue comprehensive examination and report on the state of law enforcement and criminal justice in the United States.
S. 306 embraces the same mission as the 1965 commission. As clearly set forth in the legislation, the commission is tasked with conducting a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the criminal justice system including, but not limited to, the prevention of crime, law enforcement, corrections, and offender reentry.
In conducting this critical review, the commission will have the opportunity to examine and develop recommendations addressing the broad range of new and emerging challenges that confront law enforcement today from cybercrime to nontraditional organized crime and from violent street gangs to homeland security. In addition, the commission will also be reviewing the impact, the difficulties, and the opportunities that are presented to the criminal justice community by technological innovations.
All of the major law enforcement organizations and many state and local groups supported this legislation, including the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Criminal Justice Association. It is because of these efforts that the legislation came close to passage. Unfortunately, the legislation was voted on last fall and fell short by just three votes.
For far too long, the U.S. law enforcement and criminal justice system has lacked a strategic plan that will guide an integrated public safety and homeland security effort in the years ahead. The IACP will continue to work with its allies on Capitol Hill and partners to pass this critical piece of legislation. ■
Please cite as:
Meredith Ward, "Fiscal Year 2013 Proposed Budget Released" Legislative Alert, The Police Chief 79 (March 2012): 8.