Is Public Safety At Risk?
An ominous sign of further reductions in local law enforcement was revealed by GOP congressional leaders. With many local police departments facing lay-offs or at least hiring freezes, The Crime Report is reporting the House Appropriations Committee issued a proposal calling for even deeper cuts in criminal justice programs and federal agencies across the board. Among the new proposals are a $581.3 million reduction in state and local law enforcement grant programs, $191 million from juvenile justice aid, and elimination of the COPS hiring program and the Weed and Seed program.
Deep cuts in federal crime fighting resources could have a devastating effect on crime rates in states and municipalities already struggling with budget deficits. In places like Oakland, CA and Newark, NJ further reduction in criminal justice resources could have a huge impact on quality of life issues.
Will the budget squeeze and resulting service reductions cause a reversal in the declining crime rates that many policy makers are taking for granted? Only time, and thousands of additional victims, will tell.