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.
Following passage in Congress of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, H.R. 6), U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the legislation includes a number of his legislative priorities, including measures that increase response resources for states and several provisions to protect infants, children and seniors caught up in the epidemic. This legislation will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. Read More
In an effort to boost community safety across Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has introduced the Law Enforcement Resources and Community Safety Act of 2018. Specifically, this package would provide resources to keep first responders safe from fentanyl exposure on the job, strengthen witness protection programs and address state and local problems associated with drug trafficking, gangs and organized crime. Read More
Following years of advocacy, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are announcing that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has designated Allegheny, Beaver and Washington Counties as part of ONDCP's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. Read More
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
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
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