Stimulus package offers real ‘solutions’

As attorney general of Mississippi, I see and work with the victims of crime, who face lifetimes of recovery as a result of lives lost, identities stolen, homes ransacked, children victimized, wives beaten. These acts cannot be tolerated, either in good economic times or bad.

The Economic Recovery Act will have clear and almost immediate results. It includes $4 billion to enhance state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts, including the hiring of new police officers, to combat violence against women, and to fight Internet crimes against children. It includes:

$1 billion to fund local police officers through Community Oriented Policing Services program. These grants will fund an estimated 5,500 local police officers through the COPS Hiring Recovery Program.

$2 billion in the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program through the Office of Justice Programs to fund grants for state and local programs that combat crime. The Byrne JAG program is distributed by formula – 60 percent to the states and 40 percent to the local law enforcement efforts.

Resources from the Office on Violence Against Women for programs that help our most vulnerable populations — $225 million in Violence Against Women Act Grants. Also provides $100 million through OJP for grants to assist victims of crime, $225 million for tribal law enforcement assistance, and $50 million for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces.

An additional $390 million from OJP for local law enforcement assistance, including $225 million in competitive Byrne grants, $125 million targeted for rural areas, and $40 million for the Southern border (including $10 million for ATF’s Project Gunrunner).

U.S. Reps. Bennie Thompson and Travis Childers should be applauded for their efforts in seeking passage of the new stimulus plan and for understanding that meaningful recovery cannot occur without providing the necessary tools to make it happen.

Attorney General Jim Hood
Clarion Ledger Letter to the Editor
3/8/9