THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT BLOCK GRANT

WHEREAS, in 1996 Congress began providing flexible funding directly to local governments through the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) and cities have effectively used these block grant funds for prevention, increased police presence, and technology and equipment, among other activities; and

WHEREAS, many cities have used the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant very effectively in tandem with the COPS program to expand community policing efforts; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Justice has done a superb job in effectively and efficiently administering the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant; and

WHEREAS, the nation must remain diligent on crime prevention and control efforts to ensure that past gains are maintained and that crime rates are further reduced, especially as they relate to youth violence and crime, new and evolving drug-related crime concerns, and in light of the anticipated return of over 600,000 ex-offenders from prisons and jails back into local communities in 2002 alone--many of whom will have not received needed drug treatment; and

WHEREAS, the LLEBG is one of the few federal-local partnership programs which allows for overtime assistance, which has become even more important as cities respond to the new homeland war against terrorism post September 11; and

WHEREAS, in FY 2002, the LLEBG was cut by more than 23 percent, from $523 million to $400 million; and

WHEREAS, the Administration's Fiscal Year 2003 budget proposes to eliminate the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant by merging it with the state-based Byrne Formula Grant program, with overall funding for the new Justice Assistance Grant program cut by 20 percent,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors registers its strong support for the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant and urges that it not be merged with the state-based Byrne Grant program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant should be funded at a minimum amount of $523 million in Fiscal Year 2003, which reflects funding levels prior to the 23 percent cut in FY 2002.