Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Stimulus Plan Has 1 Billion To Hire More Police

NY Times

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s economic stimulus plan includes about $1 billion to help local governments hire more police officers, which would resurrect a Clinton administration program that had been largely shelved by President George W. Bush.

The so-called COPS Program, for Community Oriented Policing Services, aimed to add 100,000 police officers to local departments in eight years. Whether it met that goal is the subject of heated debate in law enforcement and public policy circles.

Mr. Bush, reflecting a Republican philosophical objection to having the federal government pay for local police salaries, all but eliminated the program.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said money to hire police officers was an appropriate part of the stimulus bill because it would aid the economy “as fast as, or faster than, other spending.”

“In police hiring, nearly 100 percent of the money goes to creating jobs,” Mr. Leahy said. “This is particularly important in the current economic crisis, since many police departments are already reporting increases in crime and cuts in their budgets and their forces.”

A senior analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, David B. Muhlhausen, who has written about the COPS program, disagreed, saying there was “no evidence that funding for these kinds of programs will stimulate the economy.”

Mr. Muhlhausen said that nonetheless, he expected the program to be enacted either as part of the stimulus package or by itself because “most politicians don’t want to be on the record as against a law enforcement program, and everybody likes the idea of bringing home some federal grants.”

Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, an independent nonprofit group focused on improving police tactics, said that “from an economic stimulus standpoint, if you can use new police to stabilize a neighborhood, consolidate crime-reduction gains, then you can have a considerable impact on the local economy.”


Anonymous said...

This is one billion dollars spent which will only harrass more citizens in there plight to try to make an honest living. Right here in Denver there are already to many police. Half of them arent trained properly and know nothing about constitutional rights.
They dont solve crimes, the people do!!Cops here cant even stop graffiti, nor auto break in's.
Only way i would be for cops is if they parked there 60,000 thousabd dollar cars and put the officers back on the streets as beat cops. That would be a step in restoring the image of the police as well as controlling costs. djw

Anonymous said...

You got that right! We need good and honest police force. We need people who know constitutional rights and live by them.

Anonymous said...

Everyone misses the point. There are not enough qualified police officers NOW. Once they pass a two year "course", they get so many offers, there is a shortage NOW. There are currently hundreds of open positions across Colorado. Just as in education, the more demand for the position gets less qualified applicants.

Spend the billion on drug diversion programs and qualified public paid drug counselors and a real effort to re-integrate prisoners back into society.
Have laws that will assist drug offenders and mental health patients, not hinder them.
Do not do the political payoffs that are going on now.
This is a pork barrel payoff bill, not a stimulus.mpc

Anonymous said...

MPC, look around, it doesnt take 4 cops to arrest one man!! Goes on all the time. But your right on the fact its a political payoff not a stimulous.djw

Anonymous said...