WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) was joined by Reps. Jared Golden (D-ME), Pete Stauber (R-MN), and Conor Lamb (D-PA) in re-introducing the Defund Cities that Defund the Police Act. This bipartisan piece of legislation would prevent jurisdictions that defund the police from receiving certain federal grants, preventing specific federal taxpayer dollars from bankrolling jurisdictions that intentionally make their communities less safe.
Under the Defund Cities that Defund the Police Act, a defunding jurisdiction is defined as a State or political subdivision of a state that abolishes or disbands the police department with no intention of reconstituting the jurisdiction’s police department or significantly reduces the police department’s budget without reallocating a portion of that money to any other community policing program, provided that the jurisdiction did not face a significant decrease in revenues in the previous fiscal year. Specifically, defunding jurisdictions would be prohibited from receiving grants under certain Economic Development Assistance Programs, focused on planning and administrative expenses, and grants for training, research, and technical assistance, and the Community Development Block Grant Programs.
"At a time when police departments and our men and women in blue around the country are being threatened by certain politicians and movements to defund or abolish the police, steps must be taken to ensure that state and local governments do not legitimize or bow to the will of the dangerously misguided ‘Defund the Police’ movement," said Rep. Fitzpatrick. "Our support for the men and women of law enforcement, who put their lives on the line on a daily basis for our communities, must be clear. This legislation would prevent jurisdictions that defund the police from receiving certain federal grants, preventing specific federal taxpayer dollars from bankrolling jurisdictions who intentionally make their communities less safe."
“The city governments around the country that want to defund the police will only harm their constituents and perpetuate more violence in their communities,” said Rep. Stauber. “The effects of such measures can be seen in Minneapolis, and it is truly heartbreaking. That is why I am pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this critical legislation that will ensure that city governments do not receive federal funding for such radical action. “
“Protecting its community is one of the most important jobs of any city’s leadership. ‘Defunding the police’ is a foolish and dangerous endeavor which could lead to tragic results throughout the Commonwealth and nationwide,” said David Kennedy, President of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association. “With record numbers of police officers retiring or resigning across the country, and with violent crime spiking over the past year, law enforcement is now more important than ever. We applaud Rep. Fitzpatrick and his colleagues for reintroducing this critically important bill.”
“In a civilized society, police are expected to protect its citizens against harm. Without the police, anarchy exists, and no one would be safe. ‘Defunding the Police’ welcomes criminals to prey on vulnerable members of society,” said Dan Doyle, President, Bucks County Fraternal Order of Police. “Funding should be increased in the areas being addressed by law enforcement today; dealing with the mentally ill, training of police officers, and meeting with community leaders to have those ‘difficult’ conversations regarding race and equality. The Bucks County FOP stands with supporters of law and order, and the ability to live in peace and dignity.”
“America doesn’t need to ‘Defund the Police.’ We need to fund the police and support law enforcement, and make sure that innocent citizens across the country are safe. The men and women across the country that honorably wear the badge have amongst the toughest jobs in our society. In keeping our communities safe, these officers place the livelihoods of the public above their own. Thousands of officers go off to work each and every day not knowing if he or she will see or get to hug their spouse, child, or parent ever again,” said Maureen Faulkner, Widow of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, killed in the line of duty on 12/9/1981. “When some politicians say ‘Defund the Police’ or pay lip service to that slogan, they are demeaning and disrespecting the service of the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. I support this bipartisan legislation to make sure that there are real consequences for reckless lawmakers and cities that seek to defund the police.”