Biden urges cities to spend Covid aid on police, crime prevention

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Friday urged states and cities to use the unspent amount of $ 1.9 trillion last year. Covid help package finance crime prevention programs և hire police officers.

The President stressed the need for greater funding for public safety programs The White House event with mayors և law enforcement.

“The need of every governor, every mayor, every community official is clear, my message is clear: spend this money now. use these tools that we have provided to you. “Give priority to public safety,” Biden said. “Do it quickly until the summer, when crime rates are usually rising.”

This was reported by a number of major cities increase in crime rate from the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic. The White House says it is pushing local governments to spend the money until the summer months, when historically more violent crimes have been reported than during the winter months.

At least $ 10 billion American Salvation PlanAdopted by Congress in March 2021, the White House says it is already committed to public safety programs, including efforts to prevent domestic violence, drug abuse, mental health services, and hire and retain police officers.

By 2021, about $ 6.5 billion has been allocated by more than half of the 300 counties, including $ 2 billion for crime prevention programs to lighten the burden on police, $ 1 billion in bonuses to help recruit, and retain public safety personnel. said the White House.

“We have a lot going on there, the thing is that the governors need to relax it and make it available,” Biden said at a Friday event.

Without these measures, many cities would have to cut public security spending because of the economic impact of the epidemic and the lack of a budget after additional spending on local governments, the White House added.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, speaking at a White House press conference on Friday, said funding for last year’s Covid Aid bill “filled a vital gap.”

“If it were not for the American rescue plan, the officers would have lost their jobs, their salaries would have been frozen, and our city would have become more dangerous,” said the Democratic mayor. “Instead, we have been able to invest in a number of vital and important areas.”

The rescue plan included $ 350 billion to help governors, mayors, other local leaders support their response to the epidemic.

As crime continues to rise in some parts of the country, Republicans have sought to make it a key issue in the midterm elections, accusing Democrats of “reimbursing” police funding.

Biden, who has been pushing the story back, claims he is in favor of funding the police, accusing Republicans of backing police budget cuts, citing opposition to the US bailout.

“The American Rescue Program has enabled these mayors և other state և local leaders to strengthen their budgets and invest in public safety,” the White House said in a statement. “Unfortunately, every Republican in Congress has voted against the US bailout of cities and towns across the country.”

The Biden administration also sought the Covid bailout bill as a major breakthrough in the president’s policy, along with a $ 550 billion infrastructure package that would force Democrats to stay in power ahead of this fall.

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