Three of the largest Bush administration anticrime programs targeted for cuts or elimination sent about $3.5 million to Sacramento-area agencies last year, says the Sacramento Bee. The proposed cuts come at a bad time, law enforcement officials said. Violent crime in Sacramento increased more than 10 percent from 2004 to 2005. The city has recorded 45 homicides so far this year, a pace that would produce more killings than during any year in a decade. In the past decade, the federal money has paid for scores of local officers and allowed agencies to improve or replace dated technology. Funding cuts will slow hiring and leave officers with old equipment, though such cuts probably won’t cause layoffs.
“Federal law enforcement funds need to be spent where they are most effective, and (those programs) have failed to demonstrate significant effectiveness,” said Scott Milburn of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Local leaders and law enforcement officials disagree. U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, said she is working with others to try to stop many of the cuts. She is especially disturbed about further reducing the COPS program. “That’s been a successful program,” she said. “It’s just invaluable.”