Senate Passes Bill to Improve Community Security

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Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today announced a critical step forward in putting funds in the federal checkbook to protect America from terrorism and violent crime. Sen. Mikulski included $28.1 billion for the Department of Justice in the CJS Appropriations Bill, which was approved on Sunday, Dec. 13, by the Senate for a final time as part of Congress’ Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Bill. It now goes to the President to be signed into law.

“Law enforcement agencies work hard every day to keep our neighborhoods safe, even as they tackle new challenges such as rising mortgage fraud and new anti-terrorism investigations,” Mikulski said. “I am committed to giving law enforcement the tools they need to clean up the streets, protect our families, and fight crime.”

This bill also begins to restore many important programs that were underfunded by the previous administration. For example, the bill restores the eroded Civil Rights Division by providing $145 million in funding for the Division, an 18 percent increase over the fiscal year 2009 level.

The bill provides $7.9 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Chairwoman Mikulski has continually acknowledged the new counterterrorism responsibilities placed on the FBI since 9/11, and has shared her concern that the agency is being pulled in too many directions, with too few resources.

“The FBI is our domestic security agency tasked with keeping us safe from violent crime, but with a growing international role, their resources could be spread too thin.” Mikulski said. “As the FBI adapts to new responsibilities, Congress needs to adapt with them.  We must give them the tools and technology they need to stay one step ahead of criminals and terrorists, while still protecting our local communities here at home.”

The bill includes:

  • $6.2 billion for the Bureau of Prisons to keep guards and communities safe.
  • $2 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which targets and dismantles criminal narcotics activities.
  • $1.15 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service, including $25 million to hire 150 new deputy U.S. Marshals to address the increased workload associated with implementation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which Chairwoman Mikulski co-sponsored.
  • $1.1 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), to support partnerships with state and local law enforcement to fight gangs and prevent violence.

Mikulski has led the fight to restore the previous administration’s cuts to federal resources to fight and assist state and local communities in fighting violent crime. Pledging to stand up for cops on the beat, Chairwoman Mikulski provided $3.71 billion in funding for state and local law enforcement, a $480 million increase above 2009 levels. 

“I have heard from state and local police around the country that the consequences of these funding cuts will be fewer cops on our streets fighting gangs, drugs, and child predators and fewer prosecutions of criminals,” Mikulski said. “We have an obligation to keep our communities safe from violent crime.”

Funding for state and local law enforcement includes:

  • $791.6 million for Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) grants, including $298 million for COPS Hiring grants to hire or retain approximately 1,400 officers.
  • $519 million for Byrne Justice Assis

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