President Biden knows what works to make our communities safer: investing in community policing and crime prevention, according to a White House Press Release. We need to fund police who walk the beat, know the neighborhood, are accountable to those they are sworn to serve, and build community trust and safety. We need to invest in mental health and substance use treatment services, crisis responders, and social workers to reduce the burden on police officers, connect people with community resources, and prevent violent crime. We need to expand community violence interventions – led by trusted messengers breaking the cycle of violence and trauma. We need to enforce our commonsense gun laws, require background checks for all gun sales in order to keep firearms out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers, and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines – weapons of war that have no place in our communities.
President Biden has taken action to make our communities safer during his first 18 months in office. He has funded the police and issued an Executive Order to improve police accountability. President Biden has taken more executive action to tackle gun violence than any other president at this point in their Administration, including by reining in the proliferation of ghost guns and cracking down on gun traffickers and rogue gun dealers. President Biden is the first president in nearly 30 years to bring together Members of Congress from both parties to take action on gun violence, signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The President also secured Senate confirmation of career prosecutor Steve Dettelbach to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), empowering this law enforcement agency with its first confirmed leader since 2015. And, the President has made unprecedented investments in community-led crime prevention and intervention.
The President believes we can and must do more to reduce crime and save lives. On July 21, President Biden announced his Safer America Plan to build on the progress he has made to reduce gun violence.
Today, the President is providing greater details regarding the Safer America Plan. President Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget requests a fully paid-for new investment of approximately $35 billion to support law enforcement and crime prevention – in addition to the President’s $2 billion discretionary request for these same programs. The Safer America Plan details how this $37 billion will be used to save lives and make communities safer.
Specifically, the Plan:
Funds the police and promotes effective prosecution of crimes affecting families today, including by funding 100,000 additional police officers who will be recruited, trained, hired, and supervised consistent with the standards in the President’s Executive Order to advance effective, accountable community policing in order to enhance trust and public safety;
Invests in crime prevention and a fairer criminal justice system, including by investing $20 billion in services that address the causes of crime and reduce the burdens on police so they can focus on violent crime, and by incentivizing the reform of laws that increase incarceration without redressing public safety;
Takes additional commonsense steps on guns to keep
dangerous firearms out of dangerous hands, including by calling on Congress to
require background checks for all gun sales and ban assault weapons and
As President Biden said during his State of the Union Address, “We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police. Fund them with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.” We cannot abandon our streets, and we should not have to choose between safety, public trust, and equal justice. Instead, we can protect our communities and restore trust by investing in accountable, equitable, evidence-based, constitutional policing and other law enforcement practices. In May 2022 President Biden signed an Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety (Executive Order 14074), which advances effective, accountable community policing in order to enhance trust and public safety. Through the Executive Order, the President mandated policing reforms and best practices for federal law enforcement officials. President Biden’s Safer America Plan would not only increase funding for police across the country—it would also extend the Executive Order’s reforms and best practices to state and local law enforcement. The Plan will:
Put 100,000 additional officers for effective accountable, community policing on our streets. The Safer America Plan will provide the investment necessary to recruit, train, support, and manage 100,000 additional police officers for effective, accountable community policing over the next five years. Specifically, the Plan calls on Congress to appropriate $10.877 billion in mandatory funding over five years for the COPS Hiring Program, which, combined with the President’s discretionary funding proposal for this program, will fully fund this goal with $12.817 billion in total. These funds will be used to get officers out of their stations and squad cars and into the community, walking the beat on foot patrols that have been shown to enhance officer morale, improve community relations, and have a deterrent effect on crime.
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