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Biden to encourage cities to use federal funds for policing

Posted at 10:22 AM, May 13, 2022

President Joe Biden is expected on Friday to encourage cities to use funds from the American Rescue Plan for policing and public safety programs.

Prior to Biden’s address, which is expected to begin at 3 p.m. ET from the White House, the president will meet local elected officials, chiefs of police and a community violence intervention expert.

The Biden administration said $10 billion has already been committed by the federal government toward policing from the American Rescue Plan. 

“President Biden is today renewing his call for communities to invest more American Rescue Plan funding in strategies to make our communities safer and to deploy as many dollars as possible before the summer months when many communities historically experience a seasonal increase in violent crime,” the Biden administration said in a statement. “This renewed call to action comes as the Treasury Department is releasing the second tranche of support for state and local governments.”

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that $350 billion of the $1.9 trillion in ARPA will go to state and local governments. Biden signed ARPA after it narrowly passed the House and Senate without bipartisan support. Cities and states have broad discretion on how to spend the funds.

Cities and states have until the end of 2024 to spend ARPA funds. 

Biden’s comments come during National Police Week. A number of law enforcement leaders are expected to attend a candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C. Friday evening.

Biden's announcement also comes as some Republicans are trying to tie the president to the "defund the police" movement, which has been embraced by some Democratic members of Congress. The movement intends to reallocate money from police departments to other social and public safety programs.