Philadelphia, PA – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, called for new efforts to bolster homeland security from domestic terror threats after a briefing from Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross on the current investigation following the shooting of Officer Jesse Hartnett as well as the security in the region. Casey announced he is signing on as a cosponsor to the Community Partnerships Act of 2015, which would help to support state and local governments as well as universities and community organizations, in programs and training that counter violent extremism. Casey is also sending a letter today to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, inviting him to Philadelphia to hold a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement and community leaders about ISIS-related incidents in Pennsylvania and the broader issue of countering violent extremism.
“Law enforcement officers like Officer Hartnett and his colleagues here at the Philadelphia police department are increasingly on the front lines of our homeland security,” Senator Casey said. “The federal government must offer these professionals all the resources, training, and support they need to keep our communities safe. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to safeguard our communities and ensure safety.”
The Community Partnerships Act of 2015 would enshrine in law the DHS Office of Community Partnerships, legislatively authorizing the office and establishing an Assistant Secretary for Community Partnerships. The legislation would also authorize DHS to award grants to states, local governments, tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education for countering violent extremism purposes.
The text of Senator Casey’s letter is attached.