Cuts in Anti-Crime COPS Funding Deadly, says Ex-White House Aide Robert Weiner; Asserts Bush Attempt to Kill COPS Program Political

7/26/2005 7:02:00 AM

To: National Desk, Law Enforcement Reporter

Contact: Bob Weiner or Jon Marcin, 301-283-0821 or 202-329-1700

      WASHINGTON, July 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Continuation of the Clinton program of 100,000 additional community police will be voted on in Congress shortly, and the nation's anti-crime programs could suffer massive cuts.

      Robert Weiner, former spokesman for the Clinton White House National Drug Policy Office, states that despite the crucial proven role COPS has played in numerous national crime-fighting successes, "under President Bush, since 2000 the program has experienced a rapid decrease in funding from $8 billion down to $3 billion annually in 2001-2004 to $500 million in 2005 to $117 million for 2006 (with ZERO for hiring)."

      "Sadly for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program as well as for the American people, keeping the program alive and well financed is not a prerogative for the current administration.

      "Clinton got credit for its popularity and success," he added, "It is unfortunate when a new administration of the opposite Party just doesn't want to continue a good program started by the other side."

      Weiner, who visited Philadelphia's crime and drug programs last month and met with Governor Rendell and state legislative leaders as part of a drug treatment advocacy delegation, cites Philadelphia's crime-fighting past and present struggles to emphasize the dangers of cuts in COPS funding in a column in today's Philadelphia Daily News: "Philadelphia has felt the burden of losing the ability to staff crime fighting. Receiving only $3.7 million since 2001 to add only 20 officers to the beat compared to the $58.7 million the city received from 1994 to 2000 to add 833 officers to the beat."

      Weiner, now president of Robert Weiner Associates, an issues strategy think tank, was joined by Alexis Leventhal, a research analyst for Robert Weiner Associates and a Growth and Structure of Cities major at Haverford College, in writing the op-ed, "Deadly Cuts in Anti-Crime Funds."

      The authors state, "We are now near 30-year lows in crime and need to continue the improvement -- the price for inaction is high. Simply put, more cops means less crime." They cite studies showing declines in violent and property crime based on additional police.

      They continue: "In addition to cutting funds for the COPS Office, President Bush is also looking to cut funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) by more than half." They tell readers that as is true across the nation, "With Pennsylvania currently experiencing a statewide drug crisis -- 25 percent more people in treatment since 2001 with an upsurge statewide of cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin -- cutting COPS and HIDTA programs couldn't come at a worse time."

      (Source: Robert Weiner Associates 301-283-0821 or 202-329-1700)