Law Enforcement and Local Communities

Law Enforcement and Local Communities

Safe, secure communities are vital to the well-being of Pennsylvania families, yet criminal activity threatens public safety in many areas of the Commonwealth. Senator Casey believes the most effective way to fight crime is to ensure state and local law enforcement have the necessary resources they need to proactively prevent crime while bringing perpetrators to justice. Our brave law enforcement officers are doing all they can to combat crime, but they need adequate resources to do their jobs. Funding these law enforcement programs will put more cops on the beat and ensure that our officers have the equipment they need to keep Pennsylvanians safe.

Since arriving in the Senate, Senator Casey has supported common-sense, bipartisan legislation to address violent crime, drug abuse and related crime. He has worked to increase funding and federal support for Pennsylvania law enforcement to help them obtain innovative crime-fighting technology and bulletproof vests so they can do their jobs safely and effectively. He has also introduced legislation to combat witness intimidation that obstructs justice, and supported the creation of a national commission to identify ways in which our criminal justice system could be improved to better serve citizens across the Commonwealth and the Nation.

Senator Casey has supported numerous efforts to build stronger communities in Pennsylvania and around the country. Specifically, he has consistently advocated for the expansion of the Community Development Block Grant Program, run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is crucial to the rebuilding and revitalization of our communities. This program generates economic stability by creating jobs, promoting entrepreneurship and encouraging home ownership, fostering a climate in which strong communities can grow and prevent criminal activity from taking root.

  • Senator Casey is a longtime supporter of federal programs that provide crucial funding to law enforcement and has written numerous appropriations letters requesting funding for:
    • the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) Program, which provides flexible funding for police departments and through which Pennsylvania has received over $50 million since 2012;
    • the COPS Hiring Program, which helps put additional cops on the beat and through which Pennsylvania has been awarded $13.6 million to hire or rehire 104 officers since 2012;
    • the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program, which helps ensure that law enforcement officers stay safe on the job and get home to their families at the end of the day and which has brought over 16,000 vests to Pennsylvania police forces since 2012.
  • Senator Casey has signed appropriations letters requesting funding for the Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS), an effective and efficient program that links criminal justice agencies to combat multijurisdictional crimes, improve information-sharing efforts and keep law enforcement safe. The mid-Atlantic RISS center, MAGLOCLEN, is located in Newtown, Pennsylvania, in Bucks County.
  • Senator Casey introduced the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act, which was signed into law in 2018 and makes the children of public safety officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty eligible for the maximum Pell Grant. This legislation will help to reduce financial strain on these families and make higher education more accessible for these children of fallen heroes.
  • Senator Casey cosponsored the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act, which was signed into law in February 2018. This law allows state governors to fly the American flag at half-mast to honor a law enforcement officer, first responder or other public safety officer who has lost his or her life in the line of duty.
  • Senator Casey has been a strong advocate for correctional officer safety. The Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act, a bill he introduced as lead Democrat, was signed into law in 2016. This bill requires the Bureau of Prisons to dispense pepper spray to correctional staff – a vital piece of safety equipment that can help them protect themselves and deescalate dangerous situations. Senator Casey has also written numerous letters advocating for adequate funding and staffing levels at the Bureau of Prisons, which is critical to ensuring the safety of correctional officers, other prison staff, inmates and the general public.

Latest

  • Casey, Colleagues File Bill To Block Publication Of 3D-Printed Gun Blueprints

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), alongside a number of his Senate colleagues, filed legislation to block the online publication of blueprints that can be used to make fully functioning 3D-printed guns. The 3D Printed Gun Safety Act would make it illegal for anyone to intentionally publish a digital file online that programs a 3D printer to automatically manufacture a firearm. The move comes just hours before Trump administration is going to allow people to start posting such blueprints online. Read More


  • Casey, Colleagues Look To Fight Domestic Abuse In The Digital Age

    Although technological advancement has done a great deal to improve the daily lives of Americans across the country, it has also opened the door to a troubling new form of domestic abuse: the use of internet-connected home devices to harass and control victims. In an effort to combat this disturbing practice highlighted by a recent New York Times piece , U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), alongside U.S. Senators Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Tina Smith (D-MN), called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take steps to make updated resources and assistance available to victims, as well as law enforcement, judicial personnel and other professionals who assist victims of this type of domestic abuse. Read More


  • Casey Unveils New Analysis Showing Economic Impact of Opioid Crisis in Pennsylvania

    Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), released a new report on the economic impact of the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania. The analysis, modeled after a national analysis conducted by the Council for Economic Advisers, found that in 2016 alone the opioid crisis cost Pennsylvania over $53.77 billion dollars in fatalities, health care spending, addiction treatment, criminal justice and lost productivity. Read More


  • Casey Opioid Bills Clear Key Committee Vote

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is pleased to announce that three of his bills created to address the ongoing opioid crisis have passed a vote in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, as a part of S. 2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act. Casey's Supporting Infant Plans of Safe Care Implementation Act of 2018, Protecting Moms and Infants Act and his Restricting Entrance and Strengthening the Requirements on Import Controls for Trafficking (RESTRICT) Illicit Drugs Act all work to improve our nation’s ability to prevent and treat opioid use disorder across the country. Read More


  • Casey Expands on His Law to Protect Opioid Dependent Infants, Introduces New Bill to Ensure Plans of Safe Care for All Affected Infants

    Each day, as the opioid crisis continues to ravage our communities, more and more infants are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or are otherwise affected by substance abuse. In an effort to help these children, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has introduced the Supporting Infant Plans of Safe Care Implementation Act of 2018. This legislation will provide much needed resources to states for implementation of the 2016 law, plus additional guidance and technical assistance from the federal government to help states meet the requirements of the law. Read More


  • Casey Continues Federal Fight for Local Police, Public Safety Investments

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-P.A.), alongside U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and a number of their colleagues, penned a letter to the relevant Appropriations Subcommittee leadership requesting a minimum of $225.5 million in federal funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program to help local law enforcement bolster their community policing efforts. Read More


  • As Concerns About School Safety Grow, Casey & Colleagues Look To Address Root Causes Such As Bullying

    A Department of Education study found that 1 in 5 children between the ages of 12 and 18 will be impacted by bullying. In an effort to address this ongoing issue, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by over 30 of his colleagues, has introduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act. This legislation works to ensure that no child is afraid to go to school for fear of unchecked bullying and harassment. Read More


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