76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

THE EDWARD BYRNE MEMORIAL JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANT (JAG) PROGRAM

WHEREAS, in 1996 Congress began providing flexible funding directly to local governments through the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG), and cities have effectively used these block grant funds for prevention, increased police presence, and technology and equipment, among other activities; and

WHEREAS, many cities used the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant very effectively in tandem with the COPS program to expand community policing efforts; and

WHEREAS, a recent study showed that Byrne JAG programs have resulted in 220,000 arrests, 54,000 seized weapons, the destruction of 5.5 million grams of methamphetamine, and the elimination of almost 9,000 methamphetamine labs; and

WHEREAS, the nation must remain diligent in its crime prevention and control efforts to ensure that past gains are maintained and that crime rates do not increase, especially as they relate to youth violence and crime, new and evolving drug-related crime concerns, a rise in gang violence, and in light of the return of over 860,000 ex-offenders from prisons and jails back into local communities each year – many of whom will have not received needed drug treatment; and

WHEREAS, in 2002 the Bush Administration proposed creating a new Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program by merging the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant with the state-based Byrne Formula Grant program; and

WHEREAS, in proposing this new program, the Department of Justice said, “This makes sense, because the two programs funded similar purposes and activities. The consolidation of the two grant programs should result in a simplified application processor participating state and local governments;” and

WHEREAS, in 2004 Congress approved the Administration’s merger and a new Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program was created at a reduced funding level of $634 million; and

WHEREAS, since then the Administration has consistently proposed elimination of the program in its annual budget submission to Congress; and

WHEREAS, Congress has continued to provide funding for the program, but each year that funding level has been reduced pandit now stands at $170 million for the current fiscal year,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors registers its strong support for the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program and calls on Congress to fund the program at no less than the FY 2005 level of $634 million.