Congresswoman Linda Sánchez Works To Restore Funds For Safe Communities

March 24, 2004
Press Release
Washington, D.C. -- Working to help keep our communities safe and secure, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-39) today joined Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-29) and other Members of the Democratic Caucus’ Safe Neighborhoods Task Force, in support of the "Safe Communities" amendment. This amendment would restore $1.3 billion for law enforcement programs which the Administration and House leadership cut in the FY 2005 budget. Congresswoman Linda Sánchez is an original sponsor of the amendment.

“I am sponsoring this amendment to ensure local law enforcement have the resources and equipment they need to protect our families and communities. The Administration has made deep cuts to critical programs including the Community-Oriented Policing program which puts more officers on the beat to help reduce crime and create a safer environment,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez.

The amendment Sánchez supports would restore $1.3 billion dollars to the following programs:

  • Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS)- A successful program aimed at increasing the size and effectiveness of community policing activities. The amendment will restore $700 million.

  • Local Law Enforcement Block Grants (LLEBG) and Edward Byrne Grants - provide funds to local governments to underwrite projects that reduce crime and improve public safety. The LLEBG Program emphasizes local decision-making and encourages communities to craft their own responses to local crime and drug problems. The House Republican budget resolution merges these two programs and cuts their overall funding. This amendment will restore $400 million.

  • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA)- focuses its efforts on promoting innovative prevention programs involving partnerships between law enforcement agencies, community organizations and local government. This amendment will add $25 million back into the budget.

  • The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs (OJJDP)- provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. This amendment adds $200 million for the program.

“The LLEB, Byrne, and OJJDP grants are three of the primary sources of federal funding for local law enforcement agencies that seek to stop gang violence. More and more children are getting involved in gang activity at early ages. Bullying is growing problem that can lead to violence and gang activities. That’s why in addition to restoring funding to these important programs, I’ve recently introduced the ‘Bullying Prevention for School Safety and Crime Reduction Act of 2003’ (H.R.3692 ), a bi-partisan bill to help stop bullying in our schools,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez.

Sánchez’ bill has the support of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a bipartisan, non-profit organization of police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, crime victims, and leaders of police officer organizations dedicated to preventing crime and violence by finding ways to prevent kids from becoming criminals. The group recently completed a study that found children who are the victims of bullying are more likely to commit suicide, and bullies are more likely to become criminals as adults.

“The Administration’s proposed cuts will hurt programs that provide funding to community-based organizations and agencies that reduce juvenile delinquency and criminal activity, including gang activity. When schoolyard bullying is ignored, it can escalate and lead to more violence, including criminal activity and gang violence,” concluded Congresswoman Sánchez.