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Rahall Votes to Support Law Enforcement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) late Wednesday supported House passage of legislation to provide essential resources and funding support for state and local law enforcement crime-fighting initiatives that are critically important to the safety, security and well being of West Virginians.
“Justice Assistance Grant funding helps states and local communities address their most pressing law enforcement needs, including strengthening crime-prevention and battling the epidemic of drug abuse,” said Rahall. “Federal investments like the JAG program are critical to bolstering the work of law enforcement officers and keeping our communities safe. As budget constraints force funding cuts, I will continue to fight to protect this program and other effective crime-fighting initiatives that are so important to the well-being of our citizens and overall health and prosperity of our communities.”
H.R. 6062, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Reauthorization Act, provides funding to state and local governments to support a broad range of crime control and prevention activities. Grant funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice.
“Those who are too shortsighted to understand the long-term importance of these essential federal investments threaten the security and livelihoods of our communities and our Nation,” said Rahall. “As our state and local law enforcement professionals take a step forward in protecting citizens, Congress ought not to take a step backward by cutting the federal funding that protects police officers and sheriff deputies and helps give them the tools to do their jobs.”
Over the last three years, local city, town and county law enforcement agencies and organizations in West Virginia have received an average of $3,000,000 in annual funding through Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants.
“Our police officers and sheriff’s deputies are our first line of defense on so many fronts from battling drug abuse to violent crimes. They are the 24/7 watchman throughout this nation as partners in averting crimes from cyber theft to terrorism. Federal funding to help them do their jobs is essential, yet is under constant attack these days in the halls of the Congress,” said Rahall. “They have my continued commitment to build partnerships for our communities with the federal government because preventing and stopping crime, not only saves lives, it saves money and scarce resources.”
The bill passed the House late Wednesday by a voice vote and now awaits action in Senate.