Administration Releases Proposed Budget for FY 2011
Byrne-JAG funding stable, COPS, SHSG and UASI slated for increases
On Monday, February 1st, the Obama Administration released its proposed budget for FY 2011. The budget serves as statement of the Administration’s funding and policy priorities and represents the starting point for the Congressional budget process.
Significantly, at a time when many federal programs were targeted for reduction or elimination, the proposed FY 2011 budget maintains funding for most state, local and tribal law enforcement assistance programs at levels that are equal to, or slightly higher, than current (FY 2010) funding levels.
For example, the proposed budget calls for $519 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants in FY 2011. The Byrne-JAG program, which received $518 million in FY 2010, awards grants to state, tribal and local governments to support a broad range of activities that are designed to prevent and control crime. This includes: law enforcement; prosecution, corrections, drug treatment and technology improvements.
However, three assistance programs were slated to receive significant funding increases.
The Administration has proposed funding the COPS program at $690 million. This is an increase of nearly $300 million from the FY 2010 level of $392 million. Of that total, $600 million is set aside for law enforcement officer hiring. This would equate to roughly 2,900 officers.  In addition to these proposed funds, in December, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the “Jobs for Main Street Act” (H.R. 2847) that included $1.18 billion for COPS hiring programs. The Senate is expected to consider and act on this legislation in the near future.
The Administration also proposed increases to two critical assistance programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSG), which provides grants to all 50 states to improve prevention and protection capabilities, was funded at $1.05 billion, an increase of $192 million from FY 2010. As in past years, at least 25% of SHSG funds must be used for prevention activities.
The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which provides grants to “high-risk” metropolitan areas, was funded at $1.1 billion, and increase of $242 million from FY 2010.
IACP President Michael Carroll, who was briefed on the FY 2011 budget by Senior Administration Officials shortly after the proposal was released, stated that, “The proposed budget represents a good start and clearly indicates that the Administration recognizes the importance of supporting state, tribal and local law enforcement. The IACP will continue to work with Congress and the Administration throughout the budget process to ensure that state, tribal local law enforcement agencies have the tools and resources they need to protect their communities from harm.”
The FY 2011 budget, along with other critical law enforcement priorities, will be the focus of IACP’s upcoming “Day on the Hill” activities. The IACP “Day on the Hill” is scheduled for March 9, 2010.