President Biden urges local leaders to increase public safety spending: ‘The answer is not to disappoint the police’

WASHINGTON — Flanked by law enforcement officials and local leaders in the Rose Garden, President Joe Biden said Friday that his administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package is boosting public safety through investments in police departments.

“The answer is not to disappoint the police,” he said. “The answer is to fund police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

Biden said more money should be spent on public safety ahead of the summer months, which usually bring a surge in violent crime.

“Acting today will save lives tomorrow,” he said.

Biden’s comments came as the Treasury Department prepared to release a second round of coronavirus relief funding for state and local governments.

The Democratic president has been pressured by Republicans and others to tackle violent crime across the country, one problem among many that could hamper his party’s chances of retaining control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.

Biden has announced a strategy to fight gun crime, including steps to crack down on fraudulent gun dealers and slow the proliferation of untraceable ghost guns, privately manufactured firearms with no serial numbers.

Among the officials who met with Biden were the mayors and police chiefs of Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Missouri and Tampa, Florida. The mayors of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Toledo, Ohio also attended, as did officials from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

Some cities have used federal funds — which congressional Republicans have not supported — to hire more police officers, buy body cameras and new police and fire engines, pay overtime and improve mental health and domestic violence responses, the white said A house.

The 2021 aid package included $350 billion for state, local and tribal governments, money that could go to police departments. After the killings of several black Americans by law enforcement officers, some Democrats and civil rights activists have pushed for cutting police budgets. The idea has been a frequent target for Republicans, though the president has said he believes the police need the money.

As on Friday, Biden said in his State of the Union address in March, “The answer is not to disappoint the police. It’s about funding the police. to fund you. to finance you.”

FBI records released last September suggest Biden has inherited a violent crime problem. In 2020, the year before he took office, homicides rose nearly 30% from the previous year, the largest single-year increase documented by the FBI. There were 21,570 homicides, the highest since the early 1990s, when homicides remained above 23,000 a year.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc13.com/biden-police-officers-department/11846317/ President Biden urges local leaders to increase public safety spending: ‘The answer is not to disappoint the police’

Dais Johnston

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