President Biden Issues Call for State and Local Leaders to Dedicate More American Rescue Plan Funding to Make Our Communities Safer

The White House

President Biden also highlights $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funding already committed to public safety and violence prevention and praises those states, cities, and rural counties that have answered his call to action.

President Biden believes that Americans deserve to feel safe no matter where they live, and he is committed to using every tool at his disposal to fight violent crime. As the cornerstone of the comprehensive gun crime reduction agenda he issued in June 2021, President Biden called on cities and states to dedicate American Recue Plan state and local funding to proven strategies that will make our communities safer – including by putting more police officers on the beat for accountable community policing, expanding evidence-based community violence intervention programs, and preventing crime by making our neighborhoods stronger with more educational and economic opportunities.

Today, President Biden is announcing that $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funds have been committed to public safety – including at least $6.5 billion in State and Local funds committed by more than half of states and more than 300 communities across the country, who have answered the President’s call. Along with ongoing state and local support from the Justice Department, American Rescue Plan investments made 2021 among the largest single-year commitments of federal resources for state and local law enforcement and public safety on record.

This American Rescue Plan funding has been a vital lifeline to communities around the country, who have been able to invest in public safety at a time of tremendous state, local, and county budget uncertainty because of the pandemic. Before the American Rescue Plan passed, the Menino Survey found that 27% of mayors anticipated making significant cuts to their police budgets and services.

The American Rescue Plan has enabled these mayors and other state and local leaders to shore up their budgets and invest in public safety. Unfortunately, every Republican in Congress voted against the American Rescue Plan public safety funding for cities and rural counties across the country.

While Congressional Republicans try to pull back this funding, President Biden is today renewing his call for communities to invest more American Rescue Plan funding in strategies to make our communities safer and to deploy as many dollars as possible before the summer months when many communities historically experience a seasonal increase in violent crime. This renewed call to action comes as the Treasury Department is releasing the second tranche of support for state and local governments.

$10 Billion in Already Planned ARP Investments in Public Safety & Violence Prevention as President Biden Calls for Increased Investment:

  • $6.5 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund investments over the past year, by over 300 communities and more than half of states, including:
    • $1 billion in bonuses for front-line public safety workers to help recruit and retain these public servants.
    • Over $2 billion to prevent crime and ease the burden on police, including community violence interventions, crisis responders, and substance use disorder and mental health services.
    • Nearly $1 billion to reduce domestic violence with immediate crisis intervention, health supports and safety for victims of domestic violence
    • Over $350 million in job training and other assistance to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter society and provide at-risk teens and young adults with meaningful job opportunities in the summer and during the year
    • $450 million in public safety technology and equipment – like new police cars, upgraded radio systems, body-worn cameras, and gunshot detection systems
    • $600 million to help clear court backlogs and support victims of crime
  • Over $1 billion in proposed ARP investments in public safety have been documented this budget season. This understates the potential for new American Rescue Plan commitments to public safety. Indeed, for cities and counties, the numbers announced today reflect only the investments reported through 2021.
  • $1.2 billion Medicaid Mobile Crisis Intervention Services – police departments are too often overburdened due to lack of crisis response support for people experiencing behavioral health crises. That’s why the American Rescue Plan included $1.2 billion to fund mobile crisis intervention units staffed with mental health professionals and trained peers.
  • $1 billion Family Violence Prevention and Services Program to reduce domestic violence with immediate crisis intervention, health supports, and safety.

Examples of How Specific Communities Are Leveraging American Rescue Plan Funds to Shore Up Their Budgets and Make Our Communities Safer

Today, President Biden will meet with mayors, police chiefs, and community violence intervention leaders who represent the following communities:

  • Houston’s One Safe Houston Plan – reducing crime in first 100 days: Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Troy Finner will describe the $52 million ARP plan to reduce violence, with $32 million in mental health and domestic violence response and victim service efforts, $11 million in police overtime (an additional 125 officers per day in areas of the most violent crime), $3 million for a new community violence intervention and prevention program, $1 million for a gun buyback initiative, $1.5 million for forensic science backlog assistance, $2 million for additional park rangers for park safety, and $1 million for a community reentry program.
  • Kansas City, Missouri: Making Fiscal Room to Hire Up to 150 New Police Officers: Mayor Quinton Lucas and Police Chief Joe Mabin will discuss leveraging ARP funds to avoid public safety cuts and layoffs to and invest $10 million for new police radios, communication across departments, and how they are working toward providing hazard pay to police officers. The ARP was directly responsible for enabling the fiscal space for Kansas City to be able to hire up to 150 police officers, increase pay for officers and civilian staff, and budget $12.4 million for the Violent Crimes Division and $6.6 million for the communications unit and increased pay for 911 call-takers.
  • Tampa, Florida: Avoiding Cuts in Public Safety and Investing in New Police Vehicles and Major Modernization of Fire Rescue: Mayor Jane Castor, a 31-year serving police officer and the city’s first woman to serve as police chief, and Police Chief Mary O’Connor will discuss the American Rescue Plan’s help in avoiding cutbacks of nearly $10 million in public safety while investing in police mental and behavioral health unit, body-worn cameras and new police vehicles. Tampa is also investing $13 million in a major modernization of Tampa Fire & Rescue, including new rescue and fire vehicles, increased staffing during peak times, and fire station renovations.
  • Detroit, Michigan: Increasing police patrols and expanding mental health response and community violence programs: Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James White began using ARP funds for public safety starting in July, 2021 and are continuing to expand public safety initiatives, with 6 primary strategies, totaling over $110 million. Investments include funds for an updated police training facility, $30 million for enhanced police patrols, $11 million for expanded mental health co-response, $12 million for community outreach gun violence prevention programs, $7 million for gunshot detection technology, $5 million for body cameras, and $8 million for firehouse expansion.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: Police officer recruitment and hiring bonuses, new equipment and improved court processes. Tulsa Mayor G. T Bynum will share how the city has used ARP funding to provide $3,000 stipends for Academy Police Officer hires – with $2,000 at the beginning and $1,000 at the end of the Academy training. The city is also investing $7 million in body camera replacement and the police air support unit, as well as $6.5 million to reform and speed the court process. Finally, the city is investing in a new family safety center to reduce domestic violent crime.
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Investing in new police cars, increasing community policing, and innovative community violence interruption strategies. Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul, who is part of the White House’s Community Violence Intervention Collaborative, discussed the city’s major public safety investments, including $8 million to replace patrol and other vehicles, $3.3 million to implement gun violence reduction strategies and increase community policing, and $1.8 million for technology investments such as automated license plate readers.
  • Toledo, Ohio: Funding training for a second cohort of new police recruits for the first time and plans for 100 new officers in the next few years. Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz is leveraging ARP funds to not only avoid cutbacks and layoffs but used the additional resources to create a path to hiring 100 new police officers and invested $2.3 million in gun violence reduction strategies, including a violence interrupter program and other programs addressing root causes of violence, focused on neighborhoods with highest instances of gun violence. American Rescue Plan funds have allowed, for the first time ever, the city has funding to deploy not just one but two cohorts of new police officers, as it works to expand its police force. The city is also investing in gunshot detection technology and safety camera investments to tackle public safety issues.
  • Mercer County, Pennsylvania: Nearly $12 million for a county-wide radio system and improved 911 system. Mercer County includes several rural towns, the largest having a population of just 18,000. The County Commissioner Timothy M. McGonigle will share the county’s nearly $12 million investment to design, purchase, and install a county-wide radio system to connect E-911, police, fire, and ambulance services.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Bolstering Expanding Violence Intervention and Summer Youth Employment: Reggie Moore, former Director of Injury and Violence Prevention for the City of Milwaukee, will discuss how American Rescue Plan funds both from the state of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee are helping with Community Violence Intervention, summer jobs, and workforce opportunities for at-risk individuals. From Governor Evers’ $100 million anti-violence strategy, Milwaukee is receiving funding for a public health approach to violence prevention, that integrates licensed mental health clinicians into Milwaukee’s 911 center, and provides job training at Milwaukee County House of Correction, while using the city’s own ARP funds to invest in summer jobs for up to 1,500 young people.

Appendix: 40+ Additional Examples of Cities, Counties, and States Are Using American Rescue Plan Funding

  • Allegheny County, PA has invested $10 million to provide radio equipment to over 300 fire, EMS and police departments throughout Allegheny County. The County has also invested $9 million to expand and provide new services including regional call centers, mobile crisis teams, and stabilization facilities. The funding will also support a recovery program designed as an alternative to jail for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Atlanta, GA has committed $7.5 million towards public safety and violence prevention initiatives, specifically community-based violence prevention programming. Atlanta will engage in street outreach and other holistic supportive services to actively remediate conflicts and prevent violence. The City plans to engage in the Cure Violence program model, an internationally renowned approach to violence prevention, leveraging disease control and behavioral health methods including conflict resolution, interrupting the transmission of retaliatory violence, and creating opportunities for community norms to change towards a nonviolence culture. Atlanta is also investing $2.5 million of these funds towards the purchase of additional cameras and license plate readers to enhance public safety technology.
  • Baltimore, MD is investing $50 million over the next three years on a comprehensive violence prevention strategy, including community violence intervention programs, victim services support, youth justice efforts, and re-entry services (job training, mental health supports). The program will offer intensive case management, emergency housing and relocation assistance for people at imminent risk of being the victim of violence, and transitional employment programming – all part of the City’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy. This investment will also increase Baltimore’s capacity to provide mental health services and victim services to survivors of gun violence.
  • Bridgeport, CT will provide over $4 million for a Second Chance Re-Entry Employment Program – working with returning citizens and formerly incarcerated individuals to provide a continuum of care, including workforce development, job training and placement, housing support, medical health services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, education services, and more. Additionally, Bridgeport is investing over $1 million in new public safety and crime prevention programs, including those targeted at combating gun violence and interventions for at-risk populations, as well as over $500,000 in a domestic violence prevention program.
  • Chandler, AZ has committed $3.8 million for early hiring of additional police officers to ensure that public safety staffing levels are maintained. Overall, the city plans to add 27 new police officers in the 2021-2022 year. In addition, Chandler is planning to spend nearly $750,000 to incentivize the hiring of approximately 40 public safety officers, as well as additional investment in remote police testing to ease the complexity of applying and testing for police positions.
  • Chesterfield County, VA has invested $5.7 million towards public safety, including $1.5 million to purchase land to accelerate the construction of a new police station. The land will be in an identified economic revitalization area, and the station will improve public safety services in the community and support County revitalization efforts in the immediate area.
  • Chicago, IL has committed $10 million to expand workforce training opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals to attain employment and other stabilization services. Chicago’s approach is modeled after previous initiatives in Philadelphia, PA, which resulted in a significant reduction in incarceration for new crimes and a lower recidivism rate. The City is also investing $45 million community safety and violence reduction initiatives, including $20 million for Youth Intervention Programs, $10 million for services and supports for victims of violent crimes and their families.
  • Colorado is planning a $113 million investment in public safety and mental health supports over two years, which includes the addition of 107 employees to investigate crimes, setting up a delinquency prevention and young offender intervention pilot program, supporting public safety recruiting efforts, and helping to pay for community college police academy training for recruits who otherwise would not be able to afford it. The plan includes a statewide alternative emergency response effort. The state has already invested $5 million for statewide access to crisis services for children and youth, $5 million for Jail based behavioral health services and $10 million for increasing access to effective substance use disorder treatment and recovery.
  • Colorado Springs, CO has invested $2.2 million to provide premium pay to public safety staff in the Colorado Springs Fire and Police Departments.
  • Cumberland County, NJ has invested $15 million to upgrade all communications systems for emergency services within the county. Police, Fire and ambulance drop calls enroot due to inadequate equipment, as well as insufficient towers, antennae and fiber. This investment will address the interoperability of our various police, fire and ambulance departments by upgrading all hardware and software to the 700 MHz platform.
  • DeKalb County, GA has invested over $6 million for $3,000 one-time Protect and Serve retention bonuses for approximately 2,300 public safety officers, including police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, probation officers, and more. This project is part of the county’s broader public safety and violence prevention initiative.
  • Erie, PA has invested $14.1 million for funding to the Erie Police Department to add up to 21 new officers to re-establish critical programs. The funds will provide staffing and related equipment to re-establish the Crisis Car to address mental health and domestic violence issues and to increase community policing to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
  • Frederick County, VA has invested $20 million for provision of a new radio communications system to support mission-critical public safety communications within the county. The communications system will provide enhanced, two-way wireless communications capabilities to all public safety users.
  • Fresno, CA increased police staff time to address the rise in violent crime (including additional police vehicles). ARP also helped fund Fresno’s 911 call center to ensure 90% of all emergency calls can be answered in 15 seconds.
  • Indiana is investing $20 million in ARP funds towards body cameras for all state police officers.
  • Indianapolis, IN has invested $7.6 million in premium pay for police officers, sheriff’s office staff, firefighters, coroners, and more. As an example, Marion County Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatches received a 3 percent rate given their critical role in providing public safety services and their relative base pay amount, and sworn Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Fire Department employees received a 1-3 percent rate, depending on their responsibilities. To address case backlogs, the city is also investing $1.8 million to hire attorneys for the Marion County Public Defender Agency and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
  • Jonesboro, AK is investing $7.8 million in ARP funding towards key public safety investments. Jonesboro is investing in comprehensive traffic and safety camera upgrades used by the police departments, high-definition cameras at each of the city’s 22 parks, and is replacing outdated technology for the city-county 911 department, and modern radio and personal protection equipment and medical supplies for firefighters.
  • Killeen, TX has committed over $4.5 million to provide premium pay to over 500 fire and police civil service employees, for an annual maximum of over $4,000 per employee. Killeen is also investing in a police range and training in response to increased gun violence and mental health crisis experienced during the pandemic.
  • King County, Washington has allocated $14.2 million towards its backlog of pending felony cases, which has risen to 6,450. The County has also allocated $2 million towards reducing the burden and impact of unsheltered populations on overuse of local jails congregate shelters and emergency rooms.
  • Knoxville, TN has committed over $2 million for $3,000 one-time lump-sum payments of premium pay to police and fire department employees.
  • City of Los Angeles, CA has invested over $89 million towards public safety and violence prevention efforts. This investment is focused on expanding the system of care, supporting justice-focused community organizations, creating jobs for justice involved individuals, and addressing trauma and violence in communities. Los Angeles is investing $18.5 million towards jumpstarting its multiagency Alternative Crisis Response effort led by mental health professionals and first responders to promote the appropriate care and treatment of people in crisis as a primary alternative to a law enforcement response or jail. The city has also committed $10.5 million toward expanding the LA County’s community-based system of care for people experiencing serious mental illness and substance use disorder.
  • Los Angeles County, CA: County of Los Angeles has committed $5 million to increase capacity for the [email protected] program, which offers youth in priority populations, including but not limited to foster, probation, and LGBTQI+ youth, paid enrichment training, and work experience in public, non-profit, and private organizations in high-growth industry sectors. The county is also dedicating $1 million for job placement programming for individuals returning from serving sentences in jail or prison, with a focus on women and the LGBTQI+ community.
  • Louisville, KY is investing $8.5 million to create a three-year comprehensive Youth Development System for high-risk youth to access programs and supports, with a goal of improving public safety in the city.
  • Manchester, NH has invested $13.5 million for public safety, including $6.5 million for the Community Health Worker Program – a joint effort between the Manchester Health Department and Manchester Police Department. The city is hiring 13 community health workers who will respond to emergency calls that currently go to the police but do not involve any criminal activity.
  • Memphis, TN is investing over $13 million to fund public safety recruitment incentives. Memphis has also invested $4.8 million to hire street intervention workers and hospital violence interrupters, provide outreach services to youth, as well as other wrap-around services. The City plans to invest $1.3 million towards initiatives to promote youth employment, increasing family income and reducing crime.
  • Mesa, AZ is investing another $4.5 million in public safety, including for five new ambulances and behavioral health clinicians for the fire department to use on crisis calls.
  • Minneapolis, MN has committed over $11 million to public safety over the next few years, including for the police force as well as violence interruption, and community engagement through street- and community-based outreach.
  • Missoula County, MT has invested $500,000 for behavioral health services to incarcerated individuals at the Missoula County Detention Facility for two years. The Missoula County Detention Facility estimates that between 30-60% of individuals incarcerated have significant behavioral health needs.
  • Newark, NJ is investing $19 million over the next three years, into programs that break cycles that of violence, substance abuse and crime by supporting participants with behavioral, mental and professional development.
  • Pennsylvania is investing $23 million in grants for 25 projects focused on local strategies to stop gun and group violence, with an additional $15mm ARP committed. The grants provide funding to local organizations for a wide range of programs focused on reducing community violence, including street outreach and violence interruption programs, youth mentorship, and more.
  • Philadelphia, PA is leveraging ARP to invest in a new co-responder program and mobile crisis unit. A police officer partners with a mental health professional to de-escalate mental health calls.
  • Prince George’s County, MD has invested $3 million towards anti-violence and CVI initiatives, focusing resources on those at the highest risk of engaging in serious violence. The County will implement various interventions to focus on targeted, trauma-informed care designed to interrupt cycles of violence that can produce lifesaving and cost-efficient results. Prince George’s County has also allocated $9.2 million towards their behavioral health initiatives
  • St Louis, MO is investing $5.5 million in community violence intervention programs to interrupt cycles of violence, $5 million in a ‘Cops and Clinicians’ program, which pairs mental health workers with dispatched police to divert calls for clinical help away from the police department. The city also provided an additional $5 million for uniformed police officer overtime/premium pay to maintain police coverage across the city.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota has committed $2.7 million to reduce the backlog of criminal cases caused by COVID and nearly $1 million to support police overtime to respond to higher crime rates.
  • Trenton, NJ has invested $10.1 million towards public safety, which includes modernizing the City’s outdated emergency radio communications systems-supporting the safe and prompt response to emergencies by Trenton’s first responders. This funding will give Trenton police, fire, public works, and water utility personnel access to improved state radio frequencies and provide updated equipment needed. This investment will also replace the City’s 911 phone system.
  • Tucson, AZ is investing $6.5 million for community safety and violence interruption efforts, including Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs, youth employment and programming, workforce development and apprenticeship programs, mental health and substance use disorder services.
  • Vallejo, CA has invested $600,000 for Funds used to support community violence intervention programs including the City’s neighborhood watch program and the addition of three limited-term Police Assistants.
  • Virginia is making significant mental health crisis investments, including $10 million to expand community-based crisis services, such as mobile crisis services and crisis receiving facilities and $5 million to expand community-based substance use disorder treatment services.
  • Washington, D.C. is dramatically expanding its CVI efforts with a historic $10 million investment. This initiative will include over 80 violence interrupters (an increase of 50 people) working in 25 neighborhoods across DC. The City is also investing $4 million to expand their Pathways program to a second location with 4 cohorts of 25 participants, serving 100 additional residents at high risk of being involved in gun violence. DC is also creating a trauma-informed training academy and certification for violence interrupters, and potentially police. The City is also investing $8 million in Access to Justice Initiatives, as well as $15 million in Safe Passage initiatives, to promote student and family safety as they travel to and from school.
  • Wilmington, DE is leveraging $8 million to dramatically expand their community-based gun violence reduction efforts as well as expanding their neighborhood surveillance program. The city is using an evidence-based health approach to reduce shooting incidents and developing a plan for a community violent interrupter program.
  • Wisconsin is making a $100 million investment in a statewide comprehensive public safety strategy, which includes: $25 million for violence prevention programs across the state, $20 million to support victims of crime, $20 million to support local and tribal law enforcement agencies, over $14 million to reduce the backlog of criminal cases, funding to integrate licensed mental health clinicians into the city of Milwaukee’s 911 dispatch center, and job training programs at the Milwaukee County House of Correction.

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