A delegation of local police chiefs is scheduled today to meet with White House policy and budget officials to seek more federal anticrime help. The Wall Street Journal reports that the meeting “reflects tension between police officils and the Bush administration as the federal government directs more attention–and finances–to terrorism prevention over traditional crime-fighting.” The session is being led by the Police Executive Research Forum, which held a session on urban crime problems in August. The Journal article is available online only to paid subscribers.
The White House and Congress have been cutting the Community Oriented Policing Services program started by President Bill Clinton, as well as the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, which allows states and localities to use federal aid for anticrime projects of their choice. Congress may raise annual funding for Byrne to about $500 million in the current fiscal year compared with $344 million last year, says the National Criminal Justice Association in Washington, D.C. The White House Office of Management and Budget Web site www.expect-more.gov says that Bush wants to end the Byrne program because it has “no meaningful goals.” The site says that a viable anticrime program should have “performance targets,” plans to collect performance data from grantees, and evaluations to determine the impact of spending.