President Biden is calling on local leaders to dedicate more funding to making communities safer as he meets Friday with police chiefs and mayors from cities that have reduced crime. The White House said $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan, which the president signed last year, has been committed to public safety and violence prevention, reports The Hill. Cities have used those funds to counteract crime, prevent layoffs in police forces, expand police academies, and create mobile crisis units with specialized mental health professionals respond to behavioral crises, the White House says.
Biden’s meeting will include mayors, chiefs of police, and community violence intervention experts from U.S. cities. The administration will tout Houston and Detroit as two cities that have leveraged American Rescue Plan funding to reduce crime and increase police patrols. Of the $10 billion, $6.5 billion went to state and local fiscal recovery fund investments, including $1 billion in bonuses for front-line public safety workers, and $2 billion to prevent crime through community violence interventions and crisis responders. Nearly $1 billion went to reduce domestic violence with crisis interventions and safety for victims, over $350 million to job training, $450 million in public safety technology and equipment, and $600 million to clear court backlogs to support crime victims. The remaining $3.5 billion includes over $1 billion in proposed investments, $1.2 billion in Medicaid Mobile Crisis Intervention Services, and $1 billion in family violence prevention and services programs. “One of the reasons why the president wants to speak now was both because we are approaching another summer and want to stress the priority of using these dollars for public safety and violence prevention, but also every single county and city receives their money in two tranches,” officials said.