Presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama both support the International Association of Chiefs of Police proposal for a new presidental commission to conduct a “comprehensive review of the criminal justice system,” the IACP says. The organization published the candidates’ responses to questions on their crime policy views in its latest magazine issue and on its Web site. McCain said a commission would help ensure that the federal government “effectively and aggressively” addresses law enforcement and homeland security challenges. Obama said a federal commission would “investigate approaches that are successful and help state and local law enforcement implement” them.
Among other issues, McCain said he backed federal funding for state and local law enforcement, but that “rampant” earmarking by Congress had reduced aid to “worthy” localities. He wants aid reserved for “the most worthy jurisdictions.” Obama called the Bush administration’s proposals to aid local law enforcement “anemic” and called it “an outrage that the Bush administration has been decimating the COPS program since it took office, taking police officers off the streets at the very moment they’re needed most.”