Casey, Brown Request Adequate Funding For Security At Democratic And Republican National Conventions In Philadelphia And Cleveland

Casey, Brown Request Adequate Funding For Security At Democratic And Republican National Conventions In Philadelphia And Cleveland

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH)  this week urged the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies to include $100 million in funding for security costs associated with the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions being hosted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio.

“Philadelphia and Cleveland are honored to have been selected as the hosts of the 2016 presidential nomination conventions. The presidential nomination conventions are large-scale, complex, and high-profile events that can pose significant security challenges. Local law enforcement plays a critical role in planning and preparing for the security of the conventions and also carries out the majority of security operations at the event itself,” said the Senators.

National Conventions are considered “National Special Security Events,” for which security is coordinated by the U.S. Secret Service. However, the Secret Service has no authority to provide supplemental funding to state and local law enforcement for security operations – which is why Congress must appropriate the funding as they have done for every convention since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The $100 million – which is similar to amounts provided for past conventions – would be appropriated under the Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program and would be divided equally between the two cities. This would ensure that state and local law enforcement have the manpower and equipment needed to keep the conventions safe.

The full text of the letter is below and here.

Dear Chairmen and Vice Chairwoman:

As you continue your work on the Subcommittee’s Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we request that you include $100 million in funding under the Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program for security costs associated with the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions being hosted by the cities of Philadelphia and Cleveland. The funding, similar in nature to amounts provided for past conventions, would be divided equally between the two cities and is necessary to ensure that state and local law enforcement have access to the manpower and equipment needed to guarantee safe and successful conventions.

 As you may know, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated the Republican and Democratic 2016 national conventions as “National Special Security Events.”  While security for such events is coordinated by the United States Secret Service, they have no authority to provide state and local law enforcement with supplemental funding for security operations. Accordingly, this additional funding is critical to the host cities efforts to obtain the extra law enforcement personnel necessary to ensure a safe and secure environment. 

Philadelphia and Cleveland are honored to have been selected as the hosts of the 2016 presidential nomination conventions. The presidential nomination conventions are large-scale, complex, and high-profile events that can pose significant security challenges. Local law enforcement plays a critical role in planning and preparing for the security of the conventions and also carries out the majority of security operations at the event itself.  Moreover, effective security requires a coordinated effort by numerous federal, state, regional and local law enforcement agencies. These extraordinary measures to ensure a safe and secure environment exceed annual city resources.  For this reason, Congress has appropriated funds for every convention since the September 11th terrorist attacks to meet the increased security challenges.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.  We look forward to working with you during the FY 2016 appropriations cycle to ensure the safety and security of convention participants, volunteers, spectators, and residents of Philadelphia and Cleveland.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr., United States Senator   

Sherrod Brown, United States Senator

 

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