Bill gives law enforcement tools to fight crime

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U.S. Representative Yvette Herrell

From day one in Congress, I have advocated for the brave men and women of law enforcement who have come under relentless attack during the so-called “defund the police” movement.

Dangerous and divisive rhetoric about policing has led to a historic spike in crime across our country and is attributed to billions of dollars in property damage, robberies, injuries and deaths in many of our major cities. . Law enforcement across the country faces some of the toughest working conditions and needs the support of law-abiding Americans and their leaders in Congress now more than ever.

As I have traveled outside of major metropolitan areas and across our vast rural landscape in southern New Mexico, I have met with rural first responders and hosted several roundtables to better understand how we can work together to address the unique challenges they face on a daily basis. New Mexico is geographically diverse, and first responders in rural areas face unique challenges, including staffing shortages, a lack of mental health resources, equipment shortages and other factors.

It was time for Congress to take action to tackle these issues head-on. I proudly supported the Invest to Protect Act of 2022, a bipartisan bill that passed the House on September 22 and is now in the Senate, which establishes a new subsidy for law enforcement that employs less of 200 agents to provide training, body cameras and access. mental health resources to local law enforcement officers and improve recruitment and retention efforts. Almost any police department in New Mexico’s Second District would be eligible to apply for these grant funds once the program is established.

This bill would also remove regulatory hurdles for applicants and allow grants to be earmarked for de-escalation training, lethal and non-lethal resources, evidence-based security training, and retention bonuses for local police departments. This comprehensive legislation also gives law enforcement the ability to successfully respond to addiction and mental distress calls. Additionally, the Investment to Protect Act provides the essential training to respond to persons with disabilities and victims of human trafficking – a tragically needed resource in our country today.

As a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, I particularly appreciate the ability of the federal government to take action related to oversight. This bill would require the DOJ Inspector General to audit and investigate any potential misuse of local police department grants.

Unfortunately, anti-police sentiments and rising crime across America have led to law enforcement resigning and good citizens hesitating to enter the important realm of public safety. I firmly believe that this bill will help address some of the serious law enforcement shortages in our country.

This bipartisan bill is an important step towards a safer America. If Washington politicians are interested in solving our nationwide crime crisis, they should stop voting to defund police department budgets, establish and advocate for large-scale bail funds to bail out offenders. violence, or claiming that sending in unarmed social workers to defuse dangerous situations is a viable solution. It is no coincidence that law enforcement officials and police departments experience low morale and retention in their departments.

Much more needs to be done to reverse the soft and pro-criminal policies implemented at the federal, state and local levels that have led to unprecedented crime and violence. But we can start by supporting the men and women of law enforcement and giving them the tools they need to keep our communities safe.

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