WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today joined Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to introduce the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. The bill would support the hiring, rehiring, and retention of career law enforcement officers and first responders. The bill will also save or create nearly 400,000 education jobs through critical investments in the education.
“If we want to ensure that we are on a path to recovery then we need to focus on job creation,” said Senator Casey. “Police officers, fire fighters and teachers are the last jobs we can afford to lose. This common-sense measure will help ensure that our streets are safe and families are prepared during these difficult times.”
Budget shortfalls in communities across the country have forced cities, towns, and suburbs to cut back their police forces. We know that in times of economic stress, crime rates actually increase, putting further strain on law enforcement. Yet as law enforcement fatalities rise, fewer officers are patrolling the streets.
Senator Casey has consistently fought for the Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Program. Experts cite this program as an important factor in driving down crime for eight consecutive years in the 1990s. Since 1995, the COPS program has put more than 120,000 community policy offers on the beat. In Pennsylvania, COPS grants have funded 3,651 additional police officers and sheriff’s deputies to engage in crime prevention.
The bill also will save or create nearly 400,000 education jobs through critical investments in the education of our nation’s children. Specifically, the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act will invest $30 billion to support state and local efforts to retain, rehire, and hire early childhood, elementary, and secondary educators.