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01-26-08, 11:24 AM #1
Police funding sought by Democratic Senator Tom Harkin
Congress is hoping to bring back hundreds of millions in federal funding for local law enforcement slashed from this year's appropriations bill, a Senate staffer told the U.S. Conference of Mayors during its annual conference in Washington today.
Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, plans to restore this year's federal law enforcement aid to the initial allocation of $600 million in the supplemental appropriations bill, expected to move through Congress in late February or early March, Daniel Goldberg, Harkin's counsel, told the group of several dozen mayors. Without it, "the cuts will have a devastating impact on criminal justice," he said, adding that Harkin had already secured bipartisan support from Missouri Republican Sen. Kit Bond.
Both houses of Congress had appropriated more than $600 million to two federal grant programs--one to fight drug trafficking and another to increase law enforcement personnel--in last fall's Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill. But after President Bush threatened to veto the bills if domestic spending was not cut to make room for Iraq war funding, Congress slashed the budget. What that meant is that cities and states across the country will receive $350 million less--just $170 million--for local law enforcement in fiscal 2008.
Harkin's proposal would add an additional $490 million to the federal funding for law enforcement. But, Goldberg implored the mayors, the senator needs their help to ensure that the proposal goes through.
By Emma Schwartz Thu Jan 24, 3:47 PM ET
01-26-08, 05:05 PM #2Chief Wheaties PisserVerified LEO
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Keep the feds out of local law enforcement. Seriously. That whole COPS bill in the 90s was a sham. You fund an agency that can't afford new officers for new officers, they get the new officers, the feds pull the funding and then the agencies are left with how to pay for something they couldn't afford to begin with.
Devestating impact on criminal justice? Here's a novel idea - keep your damn incompetent DOJ out of consent decrees and the business of runing police agencies. If the federales want to control policing in America, then have the balls to say "it's time for a federal police force."
(yep, hot button pushed)
01-26-08, 05:20 PM #3
+1, he said it already.I'm your huckleberry...
Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!
You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
but every girl I found was either one way or the other...
01-26-08, 06:00 PM #4
What many fail to see is that federal funding is never provided without strings attached, even if unintentional. The provision of (especially renewing) grant monies to an agency grows a dependence upon it, (much like federal highway funds), and whenever a new congressional subcommittee wants to yank a chain, they just threaten to pull the funding, which they fully realize that the State (or agencies within a State) has become reliant on.
The Consititutional design of domestic policing was to never allow federal intervention. Heavy federal grant funding of domestic police provide inroads for the federal government to dictate even routine policing policies, standards, or norms, even though such might not be applicable to their particular jurisdictions. The feds love "blanket approaches", even if they smother people with them.
Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.
Something that nannyist-big-government-loving liberals simply refuse to realize: "Free" money from your Government, isn't really free at all.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
01-26-08, 06:14 PM #5
It's a long dream of many Washington politicians to Federalize all police forces so they can apply uniform standards throughout the country (uniform meaning THEIR standards, not our standards).
If they can't have a true Federal police force, then the 2nd best thing in their view is to control local police forces. Addicting them to Federal money (whether that be DHS grants or the COPS program grants) is the first step - Once the Federal dollars are dependable, the States will reduce funding, making the addiction complete.
If that is not the reason for Federal Funding of things like this, then the Federal government would simply REDUCE TAXES and let the States increase their taxes as they see fit, to fund the police better. Of course the money might go for other things, but that would put the money under local control, which is exactly where it should be.
I personally think the idea of Federal control over the local police is scary - There is a REASON that the founding fathers didn't allow the Federal military, for example, to have policing authority inside our borders - And a reason that the FBI cannot just come in and take charge of a local police department unless the locals are violating federal law. The reason is tyranny.
Anyone who believes that tyranny died with Adolph Hitler hasn't been paying attention to world politics for the last 50 years. Some of the most tyrannical regimes in history started out as very popular and benevolent movements which seemed to be doing the right things for the right reasons - But anytime you centralize the supply, you are also centralizing the power, thus introducing a single point of failure.
Local control of the purse strings spreads out the power so that no one small group of corrupt or evil decision-makers and administrators can prey on the whole country (although sometimes I think we're headed in that direction).
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