Police Back Quick Federal Aid Rise; Heritage Foundation Dissents


Federal aid to law enforcement via the coming stimulus package to be considered by Congress was backed today by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. In prepared remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ramsey said that COPS grants for personnel are “vitally important to all of us now.” Ramsey also called for “increasing the number of civilian positions in the area of forensic sciences, specifically ballistics, DNA analysts and technicians, and intelligence and crime analysts.” Police Chief Michael Schirling of Burlington, Vt., home state of committee chairman Patrick Leahy, said that, “Historic funding sources such COPS and Byrne-JAG should be re-invigorated and distributed nationwide to allow law enforcement agencies to craft creative, meaningful policing strategies tailored for their respective communities, each with distinct needs.”

Dissenting was David Muhlhausen of the Heritage Foundation, who said, “Combating ordinary crime is the principal responsibility of the state and local governments. If Congress wants to aid in the fight against crime, it should limit itself to unique roles that only the federal government can play. The federal government should not become a crutch on which local law enforcement becomes dependent.” Muhlhausen argued that the COPS program had an “extensive track record of poor performance.”

Link: http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=3611

Comments are closed.