Palmer, Duffy Push Anti-Crime Funding with Senate Leadership
By Ed Somers
October 8, 2007
“The release this week of FBI statistics citing an increase in violent crime in this country only confirms the need for stronger local-federal partnerships. We must do everything we can to let Congress and the Administration know that cities cannot fight this battle by themselves,” was the message Conference President Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer delivered during a meeting with Senate leaders on September 26 in the U.S. Capitol.
Palmer, along with USCM Criminal and Social Justice Committee Chair Rochester (NY) Mayor Robert Duffy, participated in a roundtable discussion convened by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), Chair of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.
Palmer and Duffy urged the many Senators who attended the meeting to increase funding for the COPS program, the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, and anti-gang programs.
Specifically, they urged that the Senate provide at least $100 million for COPS hiring grants as contained in the House-passed FY 2008 funding bill, but not the Senate committee-approved bill.
The mayors also urged the Senate to approve COPS reauthorization legislation, and address the growing problem of gun violence.
Duffy asked the Senators to focus on the many issues related to prisoner reentry, as well as comprehensive education and job training and creation policies.
During a press conference following the meeting, Senator Stabenow assured the mayors that “help is on the way.”
Action Needed on $110 million COPS Amendment
As U.S.MAYOR went to press, Senator Joseph Biden (DE) offered an amendment on the Senate floor to provide $110 million for COPS hiring grants in FY 2008. The amendment has not yet been voted on, and action will continue when the Senate returns from its recess on October 15.
The Conference of Mayors is supporting the Biden amendment, and urging mayors to contact their Senators to vote for the $110 million.
Front Page photo caption: Conference President Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer pushes for anti-crime funding as called for in Mayors 10-Point Plan. From left, Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Bartlett Stoodley with the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, Rochester (NY) Mayor Robert Duffy, Palmer, Washington State Senator Adam Kline, Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), Bruce Terry Brown with the National Black Prosecutors Association, and Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch.