Friday, March 7, 2008

Congress Cuts funding for crime-fighting programs

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six this week joined Attorneys General from across the US in urging Congress to restore funding that helps law enforcement agencies fight crime. At stake is a grant program that helps law enforcement officers fight illegal drug manufacturing and trafficking. Recently, these funds have been used to help Drug Task Forces in southern Kansas cut down on illegal drugs and associated violent crime.

The grant is currently the only source of funding available to Wichita and state law enforcement for multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement, including methamphetamine initiatives, and is a critical source of funds for drug courts, law enforcement collaboration, gang prevention, and prisoner reentry programs.

In 2007 Congress appointed $520 million for such programs. This year, however, funding was cut to $170 million – a 67 percent decrease. This dramatic cut will force state law enforcement agencies to shut down multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces, lay off police and prosecutors and end programs for drug-addicts.

Contact your congressman and let them know that we must restore this funding immediately so that we can continue to protect Kansans from crime and help former addicts become responsible members of society.

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