American Jobs Act: Keeping First Responders on the Beat and Improving Emergency Communication

Vice President Biden on the American Jobs Act at the Alexandria Police Department

Vice President Joe Biden gives a speech on the American Jobs Act at the Alexandria Police Department in Alexandria, VA, September 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Biden made a short hop across the Potomac yesterday to the Alexandria Police Department in Alexandria, Virginia where he delivered remarks on how the American Jobs Act would help keep police officers and first responders on the beat in northern Virginia and across the country.

Alexandria is just one of thousands of communities where police forces have taken a hit due to budget cutbacks. Thanks to an $800,000 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant announced on Wednesday, the Alexandria Police Department will be able to put four out of nine of the officers they lost back on patrol. The American Jobs Act, as Vice President Biden said, would fund an additional $4 billion in COPS grants – like the one awarded to Alexandria – that would support the hiring, re-hiring and retention of officers in departments nationwide.

Vice President Biden went on to describe cities like Flint, Michigan, where two thirds of the police force has been laid off in the last 3 years, and Cleveland, Ohio, where the police academy graduated a class of 100 officers – all of whom had to turn in their badge and gun right after graduation because there were no positions available.

“We need to help these departments,” said the Vice President. “When you cut forces, and you cut them significantly, it not only diminishes public safety, it diminishes your ability to stay safe.”

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Source: White House.gov Blog Feed

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