Police Group Scoffs at Ashcroft and Bush Administration

Outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft gave a farewell address Monday to the International Association of Police Chiefs. He told them America was safer from terrorists and violent criminals. The next day, the Association responded: Baloney, they said.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) said that cuts by the administration in federal aid to local police agencies have left the nation more vulnerable than ever to public safety threats. The 20,000-member group also said in a statement that new anti-terrorism duties for local cops - which have come as state and local budgets have declined and historically low crime rates have crept upward - have pushed police agencies to "the breaking point."

Among other things, members of the chiefs' group have long complained about localities having to pay millions of dollars in overtime costs when the U.S. government issued terrorism alerts. The group also is annoyed that President Bush (news - web sites) is phasing out a $10 billion program begun by the Clinton administration in 1996 to help local departments hire tens of thousands more cops.

IACP President Joseph Polisar, the police chief in Garden Grove, Calif., said hundreds of police officer jobs have been lost across the nation during the past four years. And proposed cuts in federal aid in the 2005 budget could reach almost $1 billion, threatening hundreds more, the chief said.

You can fool some people some of the time....[link via Raw Story.]

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