Po­lice chiefs eye more fed­eral aid to sup­port push to halt rise in crime

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Jerry Seper

The In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of the Chiefs of Po­lice is urg­ing Congress to step up its sup­port for law-en­force­ment agen­cies af­ter what it calls “years of deep bud­get cuts and a dis­turb­ing rise in crime rates.”

“The FBI’s crime re­port [. . . ] serves as a stark re­minder of what hap­pens when law-en­force­ment agen­cies are stretched too thin: crime rates rise,” said Joseph Carter, chief of the Mas­sachusetts Bay Trans­porta­tion Author­ity Tran­sit Po­lice De­part­ment and pres­i­dent of the IACP.

“We are hope­ful that the 110th Congress will take our sug­ges­tions to heart and not only com­pletely fund im­por­tant pro­grams, but also es­tab­lish new pro­grams and en­hance oth­ers that will help state, lo­cal and tribal law en­force­ment keep our home­land and home­towns safe,” Chief Carter said.

If law-en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties are to be suc­cess­ful in their ef­forts to pro­tect the pub­lic from “both crime and the men­ace of ter­ror­ism,” he said, they “must re­ceive the tools and re­sources they need.” He said the IACP thinks Congress must:

● Fully fund the Byrne Jus­tice As­sis­tance Grant Pro­gram at $1.1 bil­lion, the Com­mu­nity Ori­ented Polic­ing Ser­vice pro­gram at $1.05 bil­lion, and the Law En­force­ment Ter­ror­ism Pre­ven­tion Pro­gram at $500 mil­lion.

● Pro­mote in­for­ma­tion and intelligence-shar­ing, es­tab­lish a Na­tional Com­mis­sion on Law En­force­ment and the Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Jus­tice, and en­hance po­lice re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion.

● Re­form the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions As­sis­tance for Law En­force­ment Act, re­in­state the as­sault-weapons ban and es­tab­lish a cer­ti­fied of­fi­cers clear­ing­house.

“The IACP is hope­ful the 110th Congress will help law-en­force­ment agen­cies re­verse this dan­ger­ous trend by im­ple­ment­ing th­ese in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions,” Chief Carter said.

He said the IACP is “very con­cerned” that the de­bate over fund­ing for the var­i­ous law-en­force- ment and home­land se­cu­rity as­sis­tance pro­grams has be­come in­creas­ingly par­ti­san dur­ing the past sev­eral years and that the is­sue is too im­por­tant “to the safety of our com­mu­ni­ties and our na­tion to al­low po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences to de­lay or re­duce fund­ing.”

On Dec. 19, the FBI re­ported that vi­o­lent crime na­tion­wide in­creased by 3.7 per­cent in the first six months of 2006, con­tin­u­ing a trend that be­gan in 2005. In 2005, the num­ber of vi­o­lent crimes in­creased by 2.5 per­cent, the largest gain in 15 years, and the Jus­tice De­part­ment pledged to find out why the crime num­bers were con­tin­u­ing to in­crease.

The FBI’s Pre­lim­i­nary Semi­an­nual Uni­form Crime Re­port, based on sta­tis­tics sub­mit­ted by 11,535 law-en­force­ment agen­cies na­tion­wide, showed in­creases in mur­ders (up 1.4 per­cent), rob­beries (up 9.7 per­cent) and ag­gra­vated as­saults (up 1.2 per­cent) over the same pe­riod in 2005.

Ac­cord­ing to the FBI re­port, the largest in­creases in the re­ported num­ber of vi­o­lent crimes, 12.8 per­cent, oc­curred in small cities with pop­u­la­tions of 10,000 to 24,999, while cities with pop­u­la­tions of 500,000 to 999,999 had the most marked in­crease in re­ported mur­der of­fenses, up 8.4 per­cent.

Founded in 1893, the IACP is the world’s old­est and largest as­so­ci­a­tion of law-en­force­ment ex­ec­u­tives with more than 20,000 mem­bers in nearly 100 coun­tries.

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