A bipartisan group of 39 senators are asking appropriators to retain funding for a program that provides anticrime grants to states and localities, reports The Hill. Led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the senators requested “robust” funding for fiscal 2012 for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program. Sixty percent of Byrne JAG funds are allocated to states for local programs while the remaining 40 percent is provided directly to communities via a state-wide competitive grant process.
Earlier this week, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) had a field hearing in Delaware to hear about the importance of federal funding for local law enforcement. The Wilmington News-Journal quoted Leahy as saying he wanted to hear what federal programs were working and should be spared from the budget ax. Congress soon will consider levels of federal aid for the budget year starting Oct. 1. Witnesses testified that federal funding and grants have been used to create new positions and purchase new technology that has aided in information sharing among Delaware police agencies.