By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania’s top Democrat and Philadelphia’s top law enforcement officials are calling on Congress to free local police and prosecutors from the federal budget squeeze.
Thousands of bulletproof vests for city cops and a couple of million dollars’ worth of grants to help prosecute and prevent crime is how US senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) says the money has paid off over the years for Philadelphia alone.
“House Republicans are proposing cuts which amount to, across the board, about five percent in these programs,” Casey said today at the 30th Street Amtrak station in West Philadelphia.
The cuts are even more, Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey says, for the program that has allowed the city to hire hundreds more officers since the early ’90s.
“We have had tremendous success over the last decade or so in driving crime down,” Ramsey said today.
Last year’s budget agreement between Pres. Obama and the GOP cut such funding. Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams says it will hurt if that funding is not fully restored.
“They allow us to do the things that keep Philadephians safe, that in many ways our own budget would not allow,” DA Williams says.
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