The Biden administration’s 2023 federal budget proposal includes increased funding for law enforcement and crime-reduction efforts.
The $5.7 trillion budget features more than $32 billion in new law enforcement spending. It includes $3.2 billion in discretionary resources for state and local law enforcement, as well as $30 billion in “mandatory resources to support local law enforcement, crime prevention, and community violence intervention, including putting more officers for community policing on the beat across the nation,” according to the White House.
Biden told reporters that the budget prioritizes “first, fiscal responsibility. Second, safety and security and thirdly, investments needed to build a better America.”
According to Axios, $20.6 billion will go to the Department of Justice for discretionary spending on federal law enforcement and crime prevention and intervention.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) would receive $1.7 billion under the proposal to hire 140 agents and investigators for gun-trafficking strike forces and 160 investigators for gun-dealer compliance.
State and local law enforcement agencies are also recognized in the proposal.
The White House said in a statement that the president “recognizes that if we want to fight crime and make our neighborhoods safe, we need to invest more money in funding effective, accountable, community policing — not less.”
Funds will also be distributed to local agencies through the DOJ Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, a grant program that provides funding to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies for hiring initiatives.
In addition, the proposal seeks to hire 300 more deputy marshals to the U.S. Marshals Service to help local agencies catch violent fugitives.
“Under the president’s budget, key federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service will have the resources they need to fight violent crime, including through fugitive apprehension and enforcement operations,” the White House stated. “The budget also ensures U.S. attorneys have the necessary support to prosecute violent criminals.”
The budget also allocates $106 million for the DOJ to fund the use of body-worn cameras by federal officers, in addition to over $360 million “to support police reform, the prosecution of hate crimes, enforcement of voting rights and efforts to provide equitable access to justice.”
The proposal marks a turning away from calls to defund the police.
Biden said that funding, rather than defunding, the police will lead to improvements in public safety.
“I’ve said it before — the answer is not to defund our police departments,” Biden said. “It’s to fund our police, and give them all the tools they need — training and foundation and partners and protectors that our communities need.”