Casey warns against federal cuts to law enforcement

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Sep 7, 2017 6:25 PM


(Harrisburg) -- Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey is warning Republican proposals in the federal budget would hurt law enforcement.

Casey is speaking out against plans by the Trump Administration and congressional Republicans to eliminate the nearly $200 million dollar COPS Hiring Program, and cut funding for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) by $43.5 million, or about 12 percent.

Casey says the grant program helps police departments adapt to new challenges. 

"The men and women of our law enforcement who are on the front lines fighting the opioid epidemic, Byrne JAG can help pay for drug-related training, or life-saving Narcan, for example," Casey said in a conference call with reporters. 

He adds it's hard for Republicans to claim to be tough on crime if they vote to eliminate funding for law enforcement.

"I'm trying to figure out how cutting funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants or eliminating the COPS Hiring Program -- I'm trying to figure out how that makes us safer," Casey said. 

Between 2012 and 2016, midstate police departments have been able to hire 12 officers with assistance from the COPS Hiring Program.

Law enforcement in Adams, Dauphin, Lancaster, Snyder, and York counties have also received more than $1.3 million from the Byrne JAG program.

A break down of funding per county is below. 

COPS Hiring Program Awards 2012-2016:

Dauphin: 5, $554,978

Mifflin: 1, $125,000

Schuylkill: 1, $125,000

York: 5, $1,090,917

Pennsylvania total: 95, $12,441,268

Byrne JAG local awards 2012-2016:

Adams: $427,148

Dauphin: $413,954

Lancaster: $233,774

Snyder: $11,629

York: $270,179

Total local awards for Pennsylvania: $14,195,389

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