U.S Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper (both D-Del.) announced Senate passage of $2,765,000 in federal funding for several police and justice projects to improve safety and reduce crime throughout the state. The funding was included in H.R. 3093, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2008, which passed the Senate tonight, 75-19.
The Senate version now must be reconciled with a similar bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Once the Senate/House compromise bill is passed, Congress sends that bill to the president for final approval.
Some of the state beneficiaries are: the Delaware State Police, $1 million, for a statewide, automated fingerprint identification system; Delaware State University, $1 million, to test a mobile crime scene and evidence-tracking system; and the Office of Highway Safety, $250,000, to purchase equipment and implement sobriety checkpoints throughout the state.
In addition, an amendment added by Sen. Biden, which calls for $110 million in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring grants, passed as part of the bill. Sen. Biden’s COPS amendment had bipartisan support, with 25 cosponsors.
The program will restore the partnership between federal and local law enforcement that was created by the landmark 1994 Biden Crime Bill. Since 1994, Delaware has received more than $30 million in COPS grants, which have provided about 220 more police officers and sheriff’s deputies for community policing and crime prevention in Delaware.
“These are all important projects for keeping Delawareans safe and secure,” Sen. Biden said. “I am especially pleased that this essential COPS funding received the Senate’s broad, bipartisan support. Before being slashed by the Bush administration, COPS funding provided for safer streets in Delaware and our nation. It’s a simple formula – more police on the streets means less crime – and I hope this increase in funding returns us to the successful crime reduction of the 1990s.”
This bill also provides $4.21 billion for the National Ocean and Atmospheric Association for projects nationwide to promote safe and efficient marine and air navigation; assess the health of coastal and marine resources; monitor and predict the coastal, ocean, and global environments and protect and manage the nation’s coastal resources.
“This appropriations bill invests in keeping America safe from terrorist threats, globally competitive in research and technology and strengthens our economy,” said Sen. Carper. “As chairman of the Clean Air, Climate Change and Nuclear Safety subcommittee, I am especially pleased that the appropriations bill provides funding to study and monitor changes in the Earth’s climate.”
A breakdown of the Delaware funding is as follows:
- $1 million for the Delaware State Police, for the statewide Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
- $1 million for Delaware State University to test and evaluate a mobile crime scene and evidence-tracking system for U.S. law enforcement.
- $400,000 for Children and Families First, to continue programs to reduce truancy in New Castle and Kent County, Delaware.
- $250,000 for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety to purchase equipment and implement sobriety check points.
- $65,000 for the University of Delaware to conduct a statewide survey of delinquent and high-risk youth behavior.
- $50,000 for the City of Newark Police Department, for its canine drug prevention unit.