The White House on Thursday announced $334 million in new grants for state and local law enforcement agencies to bolster community-oriented policing services, improve school safety and help hire over 1,730 new officers.
The new funds will bring total investments in community safety to $5.6 billion in fiscal year 2023, White House and Justice Department officials said, moves aimed at shoring up trust in police and continuing to drive down violent crime.
Crime and funding for the police are likely to be major issues in the 2024 presidential election, where President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is likely to face off against Republican former President Donald Trump.
Violent crimes, including rape and murder, declined in the United States in 2022 from the previous year, according to a report released by the FBI last month, but property crime and aggravated assault were up.
Voters remain deeply concerned about the issue, with 88% of respondents in a September Reuters/Ipsos poll saying that crime will be an important issue for determining who gets their vote in the November 2024 general election.
“These new grants are vital to ensuring that communities have what they need to hire much needed officers, make our schools safer, fight violent crime and continue to advance community policing nationwide,” White House Domestic Policy Council Director Neera Tanden told reporters.
The new grants awarded by the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services include:
– nearly $217 million to 394 agencies for the hiring of 1,730 entry-level career law enforcement officers
– more than $73.6 million to 206 school districts, state and local governments, and other public agencies to improve security at schools and on school grounds
– about $43.6 million to support crisis intervention teams, de-escalation training, accreditation efforts, and innovative community policing strategies.