2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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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, a rise in gang violence, and in light of the return of over 860,000 ex-offenders from prisons and jails back into local communities each year --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, funding for the LLEBG has been slashed by Congress, down from $523 million in FY 2002 to $225 million in FY 2004, and of this total, almost $100 million is directed to other programs; and

     WHEREAS, the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2005 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 (JAG) greatly reduced from recent year funding for the two programs individually; and

     WHEREAS, the United States House of Representatives has passed legislation to implement the Administration’s JAG proposal by merging the LLEBG and Byrne grant into a new “Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program;” and

     WHEREAS, in addition to merging the programs, the House bill would amend the current  “disparate allocation” provision by lowering the threshold under which counties can appeal for more funding, which could reduce funding available to cities to help prevent crime,

     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 that the disparate allocation provision not be altered in a manner which further reduces funding available for cities and their police departments; 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 2005, which reflects funding levels prior to FY 2003 and FY 2004 funding reductions.