BACKGROUNDER: President Biden’s Plan for a Safer America

President Biden knows what works to make our communities safer: investing in community policing and crime prevention. We need to fund police officers who keep up, know the neighborhood, are accountable to those they are sworn to serve, and build community trust and safety. We need to invest in mental health and addictions services, crisis responders and social workers to reduce police burden and prevent violent crime. We need to expand community violence interventions – led by trusted messengers breaking the cycle of violence and trauma. We need to enforce our common sense gun laws, require background checks for all gun sales to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and domestic abusers, and ban guns. and high capacity magazines – weapons of war that have no place in our community.

President Biden has taken steps to make our communities safer during his first 18 months in office:

  • Police funding and improving police accountability. Other politicians talk about defunding the police, but President Biden and congressional Democrats achieved that by signing into law the American Bailout Plan (ARP). More than $10 billion in ARP funds have already been committed to law enforcement and other public safety efforts, including at least $6.5 billion in state and local funds committed to more of 300 communities across the country. Along with continued support from the Department of Justice, ARP investments have made 2021 one of the largest annual commitments of federal resources to state and local law enforcement and public safety on record. President Biden also signed a historic executive order to advance effective and accountable policing that will build public trust and enhance public safety. Major civil rights organizations and law enforcement organizations such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police support this order.
  • Fight against armed violence. President Biden is implementing his comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crime. The Biden administration has taken more executive action to reduce gun violence than any other president at this point in his administration, including curbing the proliferation of phantom guns and cracking down on rogue arms dealers and dealers. . The president was the first president in nearly 30 years to bring together members of Congress from both parties to take action against gun violence, signing the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The president also secured Senate confirmation of career prosecutor Steve Dettelbach as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, giving that law enforcement agency its first confirmed chef since 2015.
  • Invest in community crime prevention and response. States and cities across the country have used ARP funding to invest in public safety strategies such as summer jobs for young adults and addiction and mental health services. Through the bipartisan budget agreement and the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the president secured $300 million to expand community violence interventions. The Biden administration has also made changes to 26 different federal programs to allocate additional funds for evidence-based violence interventions. And, the Department of Labor invests in employment programs to help formerly incarcerated people successfully reintegrate into their communities.

The President believes we can and must do more to reduce crime and save lives. Today, President Biden is building on that progress with his Safer America plan. President Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget calls for roughly $35 billion in new fully paid investment to support law enforcement and crime prevention — in addition to the president’s $2 billion discretionary request for these same programs. The plan it is releasing today outlines, for the first time, how that $37 billion will be used to save lives and make communities safer.

Specifically, the Safer America plan:

  • Funds the police and promotes the effective prosecution of crimes affecting families today. The Safer America plan will provide communities with the resources they need to keep our streets safe, including helping them hire and train 100,000 more police officers for responsible community policing (nearly $13 billion over the five coming years through the COPS Hiring Program) and setting aside dedicated funds for small law enforcement agencies. At the same time, this plan will invest nearly $3 billion to help communities clear backlogs and solve murders so we can get shooters and other violent criminals off the streets, including helping communities put set up task forces to share intelligence to bring down the gun. violence rate. The plan also aims to crack down on other serious crimes that affect families today. The plan will impose tougher penalties for trafficking fentanyl. To combat organized retail theft, the plan calls on Congress to pass legislation requiring online marketplaces, like Amazon, to verify information from third-party sellers and impose liability on online marketplaces for the sale of stolen goods on their platforms.
  • Invests in crime prevention and a fairer criminal justice system. The Safer America plan will invest in services that address the causes of crime and reduce the burden on police so they can focus on violent crime, including mental health and addictions services; crisis responders, violence interrupters and social workers; and expanding access to job training, education, housing and other support services that prevent crime and advance equity. The plan establishes a new $15 billion grant program called Accelerating Justice System Reform that cities and states can use over the next 10 years to advance strategies that will: (1) prevent violent crime and/or ( 2) ease the burden on police officers to identify non-violent situations that may merit a public health or other response. It is also investing an additional $5 billion in evidence-based community violence response programs. The plan proposes to end the disparity between crack and powder, making the fix retroactive. The plan will help formerly incarcerated people successfully reintegrate into society, including lifting nearly all restrictions on eligibility and access to vital federal benefits and programs people need to get back on their feet after leaving incarceration. .
  • Take extra common sense measures about firearms to keep dangerous firearms out of dangerous hands. The President has already proposed to increase funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) by 13% so that ATF can hire new agents and investigators to help cities recover firearms and to analyze the ballistics of crime scenes. The President will also continue to call on Congress to take additional action on guns, including requiring background checks for all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. , closing the loophole in the Dating Violence Restraining Order and prohibiting the manufacture, sale or possession of “ghost guns” without serial numbers.

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