Cracking Down: Biden’s Latest Strategy Toughens on Crime

The Biden Administration has just signed a new law that could make it harder for criminals to stay operating in states that have big crime problems.

A Boost for Blue

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This weekend, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan “Recruit and Retain Act” into law. 

More Officers, Less Crime

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This new law aims to put more police on the streets across the nation by enhancing police departments’ access to funding for hiring, as well as other tools. 

Easier Hiring for Police

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The Recruit and Retain Act significantly changes the way law enforcement agencies hire new officers. One of the key parts of this act is the expansion of how COPS grants can be used. 

Sweetening the Deal for New Recruits

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These grants, part of the “Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968,” will now help cover application-related fees – such as background checks, psychological evaluations, and testing costs. 

Financial Hurdles Cleared

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These fees have long been criticized as financial barriers for aspiring officers, and Biden is hoping that this move will make it easier for law enforcement agencies to attract new recruits.

Recruitment Revolution

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The act also focuses on the administrative costs of hiring new officers. Now, only up to 2% of a COPS grant can be used for admin expenses – meaning that the bulk of the funding goes directly towards hiring efforts. Previously, there was no limit on spending.

Fast-Tracking Future Officers

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Another key feature of the Recruit and Retain Act is the introduction of the “COPS Pipeline Partnership Program.” 

From Classroom to Cop Car

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The aim of this program is in the name – it wants to create an employment pipeline between law enforcement agencies and educational institutes, ranging from elementary schools to colleges and universities. 

School’s in Session

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The goal of the program is to engage students early on, sparking interest in law enforcement careers through a number of different programs and activities like job shadowing, internships, and career fairs. The program is set to receive up to $3 million annually.

AG’s Blueprint

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The act also mandates that the Attorney General (AG) create some guidance for understaffed law enforcement agencies. It states that the AG has 180 days from the establishment of the bill to create a set of procedures that will allow these agencies to access hiring grants – even if they are operating below their budgeted strength. 

Hiring Help

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This move could be crucial for police departments struggling with high turnover and low recruitment, helping them on the path to getting the funding they need.

Easier Funding for Struggling Forces

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The act also orders the Comptroller General to create a comprehensive study in order to further understand the challenges currently being faced by law enforcement agencies. 

Cracking the Recruitment Code

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This study will examine the factors allegedly influencing recruitment and retention rates, including the impact of online media and the key reasons officers join or leave the force. The findings will be reported to Congress and made publicly available.

Shortage Showdown

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The Recruit and Retain Act comes at a critical time for police agencies in the United States. Many are facing severe staffing shortages amidst a climate of public skepticism of the police in general, as well as, arguably, subpar wages. 

Boosting Officer Confidence with Support

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Staffing shortages in police departments lead to many officers choosing to find other work or move departments, as sometimes they end up on the beat in a dangerous area without backup. 

Building a Better Force

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Working without support can cause low confidence within the force, which eventually results in less police presence in neighborhoods and communities.

Law Lifeline

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This act could provide a lifeline for many police departments, with practical solutions to attract officers and the potential for pay hikes – which could improve staff retention rates.

Street Smart

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More police on the streets, as well as better-funded police departments, should mean less crime in towns and cities across the nation.

Bipartisan Blue

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In a statement, Biden said, “This bipartisan legislation will help police departments do their work more safely and effectively by helping them recruit and retain additional police officers by making better use of the Community Oriented Policing Services program.”

Bringing Community into the Force

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He continued, “This important legislation will add new flexibility to COPS to help police departments attract officers they need and hire more diverse officers from the communities they serve.”

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The postCracking Down: Biden’s Latest Strategy Toughens on Crime first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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