Iowa Officials Decry Bush Drug-Budget Cut Ideas


Up to 135 Iowa law officers and nearly 100 anti-drug projects face elimination under proposed federal budget cuts, reports the Des Moines Register. A Sioux City law center where more than 18,500 officers from 39 states have been trained over the past six years would be forced to close under the cuts, which are opposed by both U.S. senators from Iowa. “Now is not the time to cut this back,” Sioux City Police Chief Joe Frisbie said. “Look at Iowa. Almost all the crime problems we have in these communities are driven by the drug trade.” Roger Thompson of the River Bend Neighborhood Association in Des Moines said Bush’s cuts would come at “the very wrong time. We’re making progress. Now is not the time to eliminate programs that help.”

Iowa’s U.S. senators doubt Bush’s budget will pass as proposed because support for law enforcement runs deep on both sides of the political aisle. “These are wrong choices, wrong priorities,” U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin said. “I can assure you I won’t be alone” in the fight to soften the cuts. Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican, said that, “With the continued growth of meth in Iowa, these proposed cuts could be especially dangerous.” Rick Arnold of Sioux City’s Neighborhood Network said meth producers often target rural towns where police are ill-equipped. That’s why multiagency task forces and institutions such as the training center are so important, he said. “Meth has just exploded so much here and in the Midwest,” he said. “And they’re going to cut the programs that are going to stop it?”


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