Dear Representatives Ruppersberger and Kinzinger,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 5855, the “Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act.”
According to the FBI, the overall violent crime rate in the U.S. increased 6.8% between 2013- 2017. Those who are violently injured as a result of criminal activity are more likely to be injured by violence, creating a dangerous cycle. Yet, law enforcement officers are not always the best option to assist in the social aspects that contributes to this cycle whether it be addiction, homelessness, or lack of employment. Finding innovative solutions to counter this troubling trend is critical and we know we must explore new methods to reduce violence in our local communities. Your legislation would address these issues in part by authorizing the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to select existing and aspiring violence prevention or intervention programs administered by State and local trauma centers to receive Federal dollars in the form of a grant.
The legislation allows for the disbursement of grants throughout the country, including big cities and small towns. The grants would be used to expand existing programs, study the effectiveness of those programs, and examine their impacts on reincarceration and re-admittance rates. Upon the conclusion of this pilot program, each organization will be required to report their findings back to the HHS Secretary, who will then be responsible for providing legislative recommendations to Congress. Your legislation would not only help reduce violence in our communities but also allows law enforcement to partner with a public service that is better equipped at supporting victims of violent crimes.
On behalf of the more than 351,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this legislation. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in my Washington office.