Executive Director's Column
October 31, 2003
Mayors/Police Chiefs International Association of Chiefs of Police Philadelphia
Conference President Hempstead (NY) Mayor James A. Garner and Gary Mayor Scott King, Chair of The Mayors and Police Chiefs Task Force, joined with police chiefs from all over the world at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention in Philadelphia last week. President Garner addressed the chiefs and was on the same dais and in the same session with Attorney General John Ashcroft. The Attorney General cited the reduction of crime throughout the nation and thanked the chiefs for their hard work and leadership.
Garner and King joined the President of IACP Chief Joseph Samuels of Richmond (CA), in a press conference expressing deep concern over the drastic reduction of the federal COPS and Local Law Enforcement Block Grant program. The point made by the chiefs is that these federal resources have been crucial to keeping crime down in our cities and that it is foolish to cut these programs at this time.
The question of money going to governors and then to our police departments was a serious item in the press conference. Frustration continues over Washington not understanding that the money is not getting down to where it is needed in our police departments.
Garner summed up the issue saying that when it comes to states, the money is sent at the speed of federal express but when it comes to cities it is sent at the speed of a horse and buggy.
King continues to emphasize that these funds, the COPS program started by President Clinton and the Law Enforcement Block Grants initiated by Congressional Republicans, were bipartisan at birth, and today they continue to receive bipartisan support.
Garner and Samuels both stated that we must bring the mayors and police organizations closer together as we share best practices of community policing and as we educate and advocate the responsibility of the federal government to assist us in crime reduction and preventing terrorism activities in our cities.
Infrastructure/Investment/Mayors/Business Leaders New York City November 12
Mayors and business leaders head to New York City for an economic summit of mayors and business leaders to continue the discussion of USA infrastructure needs. We will be joined there by CEOs and leaders of national organizations, all concerned that our nation has serious infrastructure challenges on a number of fronts.
We will continue to emphasize that if our economy is to be strong, we must invest in our metro economies because it is the metro economies that are the engines that drive the USA economy, and that keeps us strong as a competitor in the world.
Winter Meeting 2004/January 21-23 Washington (DC)
As we approach the end of the year, it is not too early to remind all USA members to register and come to Washington January 21-23 for our 72nd Winter Meeting. We are working with Conference President Garner and our leadership to provide a most meaningful, productive, and enjoyable 2004 Winter Meeting. We need all mayors of the nation to be with us so please make your plans and register now. Information on the Winter Meeting is available through Carol Edwards, Director of Conferences and Conventions at (202) 293-7330.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the mayors and people of California who are experiencing the worst wild fires in our nation's history. Let us hope the destruction will be halted soon. The nation has witnessed this via television and we know that mayors are there night and day. The loss of homes and property will be a continued and added challenge, as the mayors must respond to the human needs of those citizens who have lost so much.