Nonetheless, President Bush stands ready to slash the strong community policing program, COPS, in order to stay on top of the mounting deficit caused by imprudent tax cuts and by the drain of the wartime Pentagon budget.
The crime wave that recently hit West End neighborhoods, which are not exactly low income areas, shows that urban neighbors can never have enough community policing. It is the same for north-by-northwest neighborhoods. We will be the biggest losers if Congress approves Bush's cut against COPS.
According to the Center for American Progress:
[A]lthough the president often cites state and local law enforcement as America’s first line of defense against terrorism, his fiscal year 2006 Department of Justice budget cuts vital funding for these very agencies. The budget not only increases the burden on communities already suffering from crippled state budgets, but weakens our national security at a critically important time.Does the idea of less cops on our streets sound like a good idea, Nashville? Probably sounds great to criminals, thugs, and "gangstas." If you like more lawlessness, you'll love the Bush cuts.
The budget slashes aid to state and local law enforcement by 46 percent, from $2.8 billion to $1.5 billion. Entire programs are eliminated or substantially scaled back. The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which provides grants for state and local agencies to hire new officers, is cut from $499 million to $22 million, while the administration proposes to eliminate the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which provides critical assistance to states housing criminal aliens; the Edward Byrne Grants, which provide general assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies; and the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants (JABG), which assist communities in improving juvenile justice programs.