Mayors call for action on rising crime
The Washington-based U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is calling for more federal funding to fight crime. The call is part of the 10-point legislative agenda USCM presented to Congress in January to address issues that are important to cities.
Homicides have increased 10.21 percent over the past two years, according to a poll of 56 policing agencies across the country by the Washington-based Police Executive Research Forum. Robberies increased 12.27 percent, and aggravated assaults rose 3.12 percent. “Mayors and police chiefs have identified a number of factors contributing to this rise in crime, including a growing culture of violence among youth, gangs, a proliferation of illegal guns, drug activity, the re-entry of ex-offenders, and social problems related to school truancy and a lack of jobs,” says USCM President and Trenton, N.J., Mayor Douglas Palmer.
Palmer says that, despite the increase in crime, funding has been slashed for federal law enforcement programs, such as the COPS hiring program and Local Law Enforcement Block Grant program. Funding for the COPS and block grant program had been eliminated in the 2008 budget, but Congress has recently restored that funding, he says.