Rup­pers­berger adds money for police re­form to fund­ing bill

The Dundalk Eagle - - NEWS -

Con­gress­man C.A. Dutch Rup­pers­berger (D-MD) suc­cess­fully fought for more than $400 mil­lion for police re­forms across the coun­try, in­clud­ing $7.2 mil­lion to help state and lo­cal law en­force­ment com­ply with fed­eral con­sent de­crees.

Rup­pers­berger, who rep­re­sents Mary­land’s 2nd Con­gres­sional Dis­trict and is a mem­ber of the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, re­quested the money be in­cluded in the Fis­cal Year 2021 Com­merce-Jus­tice-Sci­ence Fund­ing Bill, which cleared the full com­mit­tee today and now heads to the House floor for a vote.

Un­der the leg­is­la­tion, police de­part­ments will be able to com­pete for grants to sup­port com­pli­ance with con­sent de­crees or­dered by the De­part­ment of Jus­tice.

The Bal­ti­more City Police De­part­ment has been un­der a con­sent de­cree since Jan­uary 2017 after a De­part­ment of Jus­tice re­port de­tailed sys­temic, re­peated vi­o­la­tions of the con­sti­tu­tional rights of res­i­dents.

Bal­ti­more in­vited the Jus­tice De­part­ment to con­duct the in­ves­ti­ga­tion fol­low­ing the 2015 death of Fred­die Gray from in­juries sus­tained while in police cus­tody.

“Com­mis­sioner Har­ri­son and Bal­ti­more’s police de­part­ment have been mak­ing great progress on its con­sent de­cree, but these agree­ments are ex­tremely heavy lifts that take money to im­ple­ment,” Rup­pers­berger said. “This fed­eral fund­ing will help police de­part­ments end dis­crim­i­na­tory prac­tices, in­crease train­ing and strengthen civil­ian over­sight and trans­parency.

“It will help re­store trust be­tween of­fi­cers and the peo­ple they are sworn to pro­tect not just here in Bal­ti­more, but in com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try.”

The leg­is­la­tion also in­cludes $400 mil­lion in new fund­ing to carry out police re­form ini­tia­tives in­clud­ing:

$100 mil­lion for pat­tern and prac­tice in­ves­ti­ga­tions; $250 mil­lion to im­ple­ment statutes pro­vid­ing for in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion of law en­force­ment; $25 mil­lion for com­mu­nity-based or­ga­ni­za­tions aimed at im­prov­ing law en­force­ment; $25 mil­lion for pi­lot pro­grams and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ef­fec­tive stan­dards and pro­grams aimed at im­prov­ing man­age­ment and ad­dress­ing mis­con­duct by law en­force­ment of­fi­cers.

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