President Joe Biden has decided to increase federal funding of local police departments and to increase federal interaction with them. This is coming at a time that many cities are defunding police and others are challenging the very policies that Biden wants to intensify. Any look at history can see that more federal control can lead to bad situations, but there is still a need to curb the violence that is increasing. In a way, this can be seen as a way to gain more power for the federal government, but it is coming at a time when millions are feeling less safe because of activism within the local governments.
Here, via the White House website, is how Biden wants to increase funding of local law enforcement.
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Guidance on Using ARP Funds to Reduce Violence. Today, the Treasury Department is highlighting that communities experiencing a surge in gun violence as a result of the pandemic may use the American Rescue Plan’s $350 billion in state and local funding for purposes such as:
- Hiring law enforcement officials – even above pre-pandemic levels – or paying overtime where the funds are directly focused on advancing community policing strategies in those communities experiencing an increase in gun violence associated with the pandemic.
- Additional enforcement efforts to reduce gun violence exacerbated by the pandemic, including prosecuting gun traffickers, rogue dealers, and other parties contributing to the supply of crime guns, as well as collaborative federal/state/local efforts to identify and address gun trafficking channels.
- Investing in technology and equipment to allow law enforcement to more efficiently and effectively respond to the rise in gun violence resulting from the pandemic.
Most people know about police being given military equipment, especially from the many news articles from people on both sides of the political spectrum. There are many grants that are available to local law enforcement to increase their numbers. There is also the fact that local cops can use the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program to circumvent state laws stopping seizing assets from people who have committed no crime. It has gotten to the point that many areas use more federal funds and programs than they get from local sources.
The last time that Biden got involved with what he considered fixing a criminal issue, the consequences led to many of the complaints that minority groups have that has led to them protesting in ways that lead to riots. This further involvement with law enforcement can mean that eventually, federal-level law enforcement will gain more control. This can mean more violations of civil rights, such as the civil asset forfeiture issue. There are many ways that any reader of history can show examples of how this can be bad for the common person.
Local law enforcement is not meant to be a tool of the federal government. This increased involvement by the federal government can mean that cops are not working for the community they are in. Local cops are supposed to represent that community, not an overreaching federal government. This can give more power to a President that could be finding ways to use the power for retribution. The gun control issues brought in with this funding are not what the majority of areas in the nation want, so it should make people hesitant at seeing it.
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