Dear Chairwoman Granger, Ranking Member DeLauro, Chairwoman Murray, and Ranking
On behalf of the undersigned national law enforcement organizations, we write to respectfully
urge robust funding for state and local law enforcement in the (FY) 2024 Commerce, Justice,
Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
appropriations measures. This funding will provide necessary resources to assist our members
with protecting communities across the nation.
Local and state taxpayers bear primary responsibility for keeping our communities safe – they
provide over 95 percent of all funding for police. However, federally funded state and local law
enforcement assistance grant programs are uniquely important because they enable collaboration
and innovation among public safety agencies. These resources fill a critical role in supporting
law enforcement efforts at all levels to carry out the most fundamental responsibility of
government – protecting the people.
Federal grant funding supports efforts to enforce laws against drug and human trafficking,
combat terrorism, and investigate violent and other serious crime. As long as drug traffickers
cross our international borders and engage in their business of illicit poison distribution across
state lines, the federal government has a fundamental responsibility to support the efforts of local
and state law enforcement in communities where the damage is done.
Moreover, local agencies that are struggling with officer retention and recruitment must focus on
the basics of patrolling their communities and responding to calls for service. That means fewer
local officers are available to contribute to federal task forces focused on drug trafficking,
fugitive apprehension, human trafficking, and terrorism. Significant cuts to state and local law
enforcement grant programs would reduce cooperation between federal, state, and local law
enforcement at a time when this collaboration needs to be expanded.
In addition, reduced funding for state and local law enforcement will limit our ability to address
violent crime, reduce gun violence, and provide quality training to state and local law
enforcement to respond to increasingly challenging environments. A decrease in funding would
also hinder public safety agencies’ ability to access critical resources to develop strategies to
treat those suffering with mental health and substance use issues and continue programs to
reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for justice-involved individuals. Resources are
necessary as state and local law enforcement continue to play a primary role in combatting the
opioid epidemic, which has tragically claimed the lives of over 100,000 people over the past
We are dedicated to ongoing work with Congress, the Administration, and stakeholders across
the criminal justice system as lawmakers make difficult decisions in a challenging fiscal
environment. We stand ready to support you and provide any information needed as you review
a path forward on the FY 2024 CJS and DHS spending measures.