The Congresswoman is a Former Federal Law Enforcement Officer
The “Safer America Plan” Would Increase Funding for Local Police Departments, Invest in Crime Prevention, Impose Tougher Penalties for Fentanyl Trafficking, & Address “Smash and Grab” Thefts
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement following the announcement of President Biden’s “Safer America Plan” to invest in community policing, crime prevention, and more law enforcement officers on the streets across America.
“The President’s announcement represents long overdue support for America’s police departments and law enforcement officers, who for the past few years have been asked to carry out jobs far beyond their job descriptions. As a former federal law enforcement officer, I know the commitment and sacrifices that come with putting on the badge every day. These men and women deserve to know that we have their backs — and I’ve long said that funding the police at the level they deserve will help promote stronger communities and put violent criminals behind bars,” said Spanberger. “This plan charts the pathway towards commonsense reforms that can reduce crime, combat drug trafficking, crack down on ‘smash and grabs,’ and make sure Americans feel safe in their own neighborhoods. But now, Congress needs to respond with action. That’s why I continue to push House leadership to bring my bipartisan legislation to increase funding for local police departments to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible. We cannot delay in combatting crime, keeping qualified officers on the payroll, and responding to the concerns of the people we represent.”
Earlier this year, Spanberger and U.S. Representative Tom Rice (R-SC-07) introduced bipartisan legislation — the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) on the Beat Program Reauthorization and Parity Act to help increase officer pay and allow police departments to hire more officers.
According to the administration, the Safer America Plan will provide communities with the resources they need to keep America’s streets safe, including by helping them hire and train 100,000 additional police officers for accountable community policing (nearly $13 billion over the next five years through the COPS Hiring Program) and setting aside dedicated funds for small law enforcement agencies.
Additionally, this plan will invest nearly $3 billion to help communities clear court backlogs and solve murders, so that law enforcement can take shooters and other violent criminals off the streets — including by helping communities 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 affecting families today — including by imposing tougher penalties for fentanyl trafficking. And to tackle organized retail theft, the plan calls on Congress to pass legislation to require online marketplaces — like Amazon — to verify third-party sellers’ information, as well as to impose liability on online marketplaces for the sale of stolen goods on their platforms.
Click here for a fact sheet from the White House about this plan.