Biden’s Budget Raises Funding to Fight Violent Crime

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Justice Department official cites police chiefs, sheriffs, mayors saying they ‘need more help’

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The budget also asked for 131 new prosecutors to help with the sprawling investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, assisting in the more than 750 cases that have resulted to date from that. The proposal also asked for new money for antitrust enforcement, civil rights and other issues the department has prioritized from the outlet of the administration.

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Some of the new proposed violent-crime funding includes doubling resources for a program to combat gun violence to $40 million; creating a new $250 million grant program to help communities develop strategies to calm tensions before they turn violent; and adding more than 100 additional agents to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and more than 100 new federal prosecutors to help prosecute violent crime.

“I have met with countless police chiefs, sheriffs, mayors, you name it. Every single one of them says we need more help,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a briefing with reporters. She added that among other requests, local officials specifically ask for ATF’s assistance to trace guns used in crimes and help from the Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate opioid deaths.

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Republicans have highlighted rising crime statistics in their efforts to cast Democrats, who lead most major US cities, as soft on crime ahead of November’s midterms. Among other things, they have criticized “defund the police” proposals by progressive activists and politicians that would reallocate police funding to social programs.

Mr. Biden has rejected calls to “defund the police” and sought to balance an anticrime message with promises from his administration that it would work to overhaul police practices after the high-profile killings of Black people led to widespread protests. “I know what works: Investing in crime prevention and community police officers who’ll walk the beat, who’ll know the neighborhood, and who can restore trust and safety,” he said earlier this month in the State of the Union address.

A program for the Republican National Committee said: “Don’t let Biden’s budget fool you—Biden does not support the police.”

A spokeswoman for Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.), who supports the defund-the-police movement, said the congresswoman was still going through the president’s budget. Ms. Bush earlier this month said Mr. Biden’s call for more police funding was “incredibly disappointing.”

Justice Department officials said the budget also included a proposed new program that would include a $4.4 billion fund to examine new strategies to address violent crime. The department said more details about that fund would be coming from the White House in the coming weeks.

Write to Aruna Viswanatha at [email protected] and Eliza Collins at [email protected]

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Credit: www.Businesshala.com /

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