Funds can be used better

Published 10:12 am Friday, October 3, 2008

A report in USA TODAY indicates that police chiefs, mayors and security officials believe the federal government is not prioritizing the needs of local police agencies.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police believe too many federal dollars are going toward anti-terrorism efforts that should be sent to local law enforcement agencies.

Ironton Police Chief Jim Carey is one of them.

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“Sometimes I see federal dollars go to other areas besides what I would describe as, the troops,” Carey said. “That’s where they’re needed.”

The IACP is requesting the next president reallocate those funds to better assist local law enforcement efforts.

The IACP claims 99,000 people have been murdered in the U.S. an 1.4 million are the victims of violent crime each years, according the the USA TODAY article.

“It just doesn’t seem like the money is divided up right,” Carey said. “It seems like rather than going to the levels where they’re needed, those dollars go to bigger projects.”

The federal government certainly cannot leave itself unprepared, otherwise known as vulnerable, when it comes to the possibility of a potential terrorist attack. It cannot leave all those funds on the table for local governments, but the police chiefs are correct in noting that dollars designated for unused equipment could be better used.

In other words, there is more of a chance of people being attacked by common criminals than terrorists and the priority in funding should be geared toward protection on the local level.

There is no magic formula because protecting a metropolitan area is far different than protecting places like Ironton or rural Lawrence County.

But putting those dollars in the hands of local law enforcement agencies will result in better protection against more practical threats to Americans.