By Ramsey Cox
“I respectfully request you prioritize funding for state and local law enforcement programs,” Casey wrote to Obama. “Within the Department of Justice budget, these programs have been cut back far more than other initiatives and as a result have been funded well below authorized levels. Your leadership will be necessary to reverse this trend in the upcoming fiscal year to ensure we provide the support needed to prevent and reduce incidence of violent crime.”
“Funding for state and local law enforcement programs were reduced by a total of over $1.2 billion in FY 2011 and FY 2012,” the letter stated. “Programs like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) program are a key part of national violent crime reduction efforts, yet each one has faced substantial cuts. These funding reductions have meant fewer officers, fewer bullet-proof vests and placed a burden on law enforcement across the country.”
Casey said he thinks it is dangerous these programs that help communities fight violent crimes have been reduced and said he would work to ensure the money is returned in the 2014 budget.
“I am convinced that cuts to programs like Byrne JAG are shortsighted and dangerous to local communities, and I am committed to working with colleagues both sides of the aisle to restore funding for state and local law enforcement programs,” Casey wrote. “Importantly, appropriators will look to your FY 2014 budget as an indicator of the value of these programs. Therefore, I urge you to include increased funding for state and local law enforcement programs, including Byrne JAG, COPS and BVP, in the upcoming budget.”
Casey pointed out that the DOJ cuts have had real consequences. He cited FBI data that showed a 25 percent increase in police officers who were killed by perpetrators in 2011.