IACP Supported Legislation Signed Into Law
On October 28, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The legislation—formerly the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA)—is strongly supported by the IACP.
The expanded law will allow the federal government to provide technical support to state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies that are investigating hate crimes.
Most hate crimes are, and should continue to be, investigated and prosecuted by state, tribal, and local authorities. Unfortunately, there are instances, where as a result of either insufficient resources or a lack of jurisdiction, state, tribal, and local authorities are unable to investigate these crimes properly. In response, the law provides the DOJ with jurisdiction in crimes of violence that were motivated because of an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, disability, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
However, the law properly bars the exercise of federal jurisdiction until the DOJ certifies that state authorities have requested that the federal government assume jurisdiction or that they have consulted with state, tribal, and local law enforcement and have determined that local authorities are either unwilling or unable to act.
Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Bill
In early December Congress passed a package of spending bills—or omnibus—that will fund government agencies through the end of this fiscal year, September 30, 2010.
The omnibus includes funding levels for the primary law enforcement assistance grants administered through the Department of Justice:
• $511 million for Byrne JAG
• $298 million for COPS hiring
Congress previously passed appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all of FY 2010:
• $652.5 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSG)
• $646.25 for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)
• $459.25 million for the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP)
The chart below illustrates these programs:
|FY 2009||FY 2010||% Change from FY 09|
|SHSG||$712.5 Million||$625.5 million||-9%|
|UASI||$628.12 Million||$646.25 million||+3%|
|LETPP||$446.9 million||$459.25 million||+3%|
|Byrne-JAG||$512 million||$511 million||-1%|
|COPS Hiring||$0||$298 million||+100%|
It is important to note that the Byrne-JAG Program received $2 billion and the COPS Hiring Program $1 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law in February 2009.
Congress Introduces Jobs Bill That Includes Funding for COPS Hiring
In addition to the regular funding for FY 2010, the House has introduced the Jobs for Main Street Act (H.R. 2847). The bill redirects $48.3 billion from repaid Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to save and create jobs in the United States. The bill includes $1.18 billion for Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Hiring grants and the funds may be used for hiring or re-hiring.
The House of Representatives passed this legislation in late December and the Senate will take it up in January 2010.
Robinson Sworn in as Assistant Attorney General
On November 9, Laurie Robinson was sworn in as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). The IACP strongly supported Ms. Robinson’s nomination.
During her confirmation process, in a letter to Senate leadership, IACP (then) President Russell Laine wrote, “Ms. Robinson’s broad base of experience provides her with a unique perspective on criminal justice issues.”
The IACP believes that Ms. Robinson’s years of service have clearly demonstrated she has the qualifications and experience necessary to be an effective leader of the OJP. The OJP office is of critical importance to state, local and tribal law enforcement.
During her service in this same position from 1993 to 2000, OJP programs grew substantially—from $800 million in 1993 to over $4 billion in 2000. This increase led to strong initiatives on community-based crime control, violence against women, and law enforcement technology.
As a result, the IACP believes that, as Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Robinson’s background will allow her to foster and enhance the crucial partnership among federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.