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Vice President Announces $1B to Aid Police Agencies

The Philadelphia Tribune, News Report , Larry Miller Posted: Jul 28, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden was in Philadelphia Tuesday, announcing the release of $1 billion in federal grants to aid state and local police agencies in the region and specifically to hire 50 more officers for the city.

Vice President Joe Biden greets Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey during a news conference at City Hall in Philadelphia, Tuesday.

Flanked by Attorney General Eric Holder, Gov. Ed Rendell, Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Biden said that Philadelphia will receive $10.9 million over three years to deploy 50 police officers. The city will pick up the price tag over the fourth year.

The funding, which is being provided from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is allocated through the Community Oriented Policing Services or COPS program, will secure salaries and benefits for the new officers.

Commissioner Ramsey said the funding couldnt have come at a better time.

The recovery funds are essential in helping local law enforcement agencies fulfill their mission of making our communities as safe as possible, said Ramsey. We cant afford to lose ground.

All together, 19 cities and towns, including Trenton and New Jersey, are receiving the grants. Four major cities, Pittsburgh, New York, Houston and Seattle are among those that will not based on research by the Justice Department that showed which cities were in the most need.

The officers will go to where they are needed most, Holder said. The number of grant requests we received was overwhelming and the grants were made based on crime rates, financial need and community policing activities.

Biden, whose record shows a continued commitment to building strong state and local law enforcement agencies, said the more effective officers are on the front line, the more efficient the justice system.
A big part of the Recovery Act is about building communities making them as strong as they can be and allowing every American family to live a better life than the one they are leading now, Biden said. We cant achieve that goal without supporting the men and women who keep our streets safe, who keep our children safe.

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