Law Enforcement and Local Communities

Banner Law EnforcementSafe, 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 that will 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.

Criminal activity begins in the places where the community structures holding families and neighborhoods together begin to fall apart. 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.

Recent Legislation

In April 2013, Senator Casey voted in support of a number of commonsense proposals to reduce gun violence, including expanded background checks, restrictions on certain military-style assault weapons and improvements to mental health screening and treatment programs. In light of the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in which 20 children lost their lives, Senator Casey is committed to protecting our children while simultaneously defending of the Second Amendment and the strong Pennsylvania tradition of responsible gun ownership for purposes including sporting, collection and personal defense.

To provide more resources to local law enforcement, Senator Casey has been a strong advocate for increased funding for the COPS program and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program (Byrne JAG) that provides flexible grants for law enforcement to prevent and prosecute crime. Senator Casey offered an amendment to the Senate Fiscal Year 2014 budget to increase funding for Byrne JAG which passed the Senate by voice vote.

In 2012, Senator Casey cosponsored and voted for the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, which would provide for the first comprehensive review of the federal criminal justice system in almost 50 years.

Senator Casey supported the Fiscal Year 2014 Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill which would fund Community Development Block Grants at $3.15 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. The bill is in part aimed at compensating for large program cuts made over the past three years that limit grant funding to essential community services.


  • Witness Safety: Senator Casey sponsored the State Witness Protection Act, which would allow the justice system to function without the obstruction caused by witness intimidation. The State Witness Protection Act would provide state and local law enforcement with funding for witness protection programs, and allow for harsher penalties for individuals found guilty of witness intimidation.
  • Law Enforcement Funding: Senator Casey’s amendment increasing funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants Program passed the Senate with unanimous support as part of the 2014 Fiscal Year budget. State and local law enforcement have received over $12 million in Byrne grants, supporting crime fighting innovation and thorough responses to crimes.
  • Thriving Communities: Senator Casey annually advocates for increased funding for the Community Development Block Grant program. This program provides crucial resources to over 1,200 entitlement cities, urban counties and states across the country and has a proven track record in its contribution to economic and community revitalization
  • Supporting Local Needs: Senator Casey was a co-sponsor of S.887, the Community Development Block Grant Public Service Flexibility Act of 2011. This bill would make Community Development Block Grant funding requirements more flexible for communities seeking to direct more resources to low-income seniors, abused or neglected children, the disabled and the homeless.


  • 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

  • Casey, Hassan, Dingell Continue Fight Against Campus Sexual Assault

    Although great strides have been made in advancing protections against sexual violence on college campuses, students with disabilities still suffer a disproportionate number of violent sexual crimes. A recent report from the National Council on Disability, "Not on the Radar: Sexual Assault of College Students with Disabilities," found that the needs of these students are often not addressed under existing policies. To address this gap and build upon the work of the landmark Jeanne Clery Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), alongside U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), introduced the Safe Equitable Campus Resources and Education (SECuRE) Act.  U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Read More

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