Saturday, January 05, 2008

Local, state officials will fight to restore 67 percent cut in federal grants for drug, other enforcement

Lobbyists for state and local officials will seek to reverse a projected 67 percent cut in federal funding "for targeted state and local criminal justice initiatives," reports Crime & Justice News. "One state official suggested that advocates argue to Congress that the unexpected funding cuts, which were negotiated in private pre-holiday legislative conference committee sessions, were unfair because they were "grossly disproportionate" compared with other federal appropriation reductions." (Read more)

The Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program "helps pay for a host of law enforcement initiatives in states and cities, including drug task forces, anti-gang units and overtime for police officers," writes John Gramlich of Stateline. "Drug enforcement agents in Arizona, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Montana, and North Carolina have warned their agencies face cuts and possible closure." For the first Rural Blog item on that, with examples, click here.

David Steingraber, president of the National Criminal Justice Association, told Stateline, “Congress has just made the job of every police officer in this country more difficult.” Gramlich adds, "The association has blamed the funding shortage on members of Congress who favored pet projects over anti-crime dollars." (Read more)

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