May 16, 2022

President Biden urges local leaders to boost public safety spending: ‘The answer is not to defund the police’

WASHINGTON — Flanked by legislation enforcement officers and local leaders in the Rose Backyard, President Joe Biden mentioned Friday his administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bundle is boosting public safety by investing in police departments.

“The answer is not to defund the police,” he mentioned. “The answer is to fund the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

Biden mentioned more cash needs to be spent on public safety earlier than the summer season months, which usually carry a spike in violent crime.

“Taking action today is going to save lives tomorrow,” he mentioned.

Biden’s remarks got here as the Treasury Division ready to launch a second spherical of coronavirus aid funding for state and local governments.

The Democratic president has been underneath strain from Republicans and others to carry down violent crime throughout the nation, one situation amongst many that might complicate his celebration’s possibilities of retaining management of Congress in the November midterm elections.

Biden has introduced a method to fight gun crimes, together with steps to crack down on rogue gun sellers and sluggish the unfold of untraceable ghost weapons, privately made firearms with out serial numbers.

Amongst the officers who met with Biden had been the mayors and police chiefs of Detroit, Houston, Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, and Tampa, Florida. The mayors of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Toledo, Ohio, additionally attended, as did officers from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

Some cities have used the federal funding – which Republicans in Congress did not assist – to rent extra cops, purchase physique cameras and new police and hearth automobiles, pay additional time and enhance psychological well being and home violence responses, the White Home mentioned.

The 2021 aid bundle included $350 billion for state, local and tribal governments, cash that might go to police departments. Following the killings of a number of Black Individuals by legislation enforcement officers, some Democrats and civil rights activists have urged chopping police budgets. The thought has been a frequent goal for Republicans although the president has mentioned he believes the police want the cash.

As he did on Friday, Biden mentioned in his State of the Union handle in March, “The answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police. Fund them. Fund them.”

FBI data launched final September recommend that Biden inherited a violent crime drawback. In 2020, the 12 months earlier than he took workplace, homicides rose practically 30% over the earlier 12 months, the largest one-year soar documented by the FBI. There have been 21,570 killings, the highest since the early Nineteen Nineties when homicides stayed above 23,000 a 12 months.