(PresidentialInsider.com)- The White House is telling officials on the local and state level that there is money available to them to help fight the increasing crime they’re experiencing.
On Monday, officials at the White House sent a memo urging these other officials to use various funds from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed under President Joe Biden to combat gun violence and reduce overall crime. Cities across the country have seen a huge increase in violent crimes over the last year or so.
The memo was a sort of blueprint for how cities and states can use funds that were allocated as part of the bill to enforce gun laws, support law enforcement agencies, invest in violence interventions at a community-based level and assist people who have been released from prison re-acclimate to the community.
The memo was written by Gene Sperling, Julie Rodriguez and Susan Rice. It reads:
“The core of the President’s plan is a partnership with cities and states, equipping local leaders with historic levels of federal funding and a range of tools to address the multifaceted challenge of gun violence.
“Since the President’s plan was launched, leaders across the country have already responded by taking up or supporting the take-up of these American Rescue Plan dollars for violence prevention efforts. And, as cities, counties and states around the country consider how to allocate the historic support they’ve received through the Rescue Plan, we again encourage them to use funding to improve public safety in their communities.”
Thus far, cities such as Tucson in Arizona, Syracuse in New York, Cincinnati in Ohio and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania have used the funds from the stimulus package to boost law various public safety efforts.
New York City is apparently working some of this funding into its fiscal 2022 budget. It will reportedly use $44 million of relief funds from the coronavirus stimulus package to expand the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
New York City, home to a lot of this increase in crime, will also more than double the number of people in its violence prevention program that runs in the summer.
Next week, Biden himself will meet with leaders of various locales to talk about the initiative.
In 2020, major cities throughout the United States experienced a collective 30% increase in homicides over 2019. The year also saw an 8% increase in gun assaults.
Those violent crimes continued to increase in the first part of this year as well.
The Biden administration is focusing on his stimulus package’s benefits to law enforcement at a time when its taking major heat for the rise in crime. Many Democrats have also backed the movement to “defund the police” — especially the progressive wing of the party.
Biden all along has said he doesn’t personally back cutting any funding for law enforcement agencies. The president is also trying to show he’s supporting law enforcement by including $750 million for law enforcement agencies and $300 million for the COPS program in his proposal for the fiscal 2022 budget.