Nutter, AG Holder To Announce $3.1 Million for Philadelphia Police
In what was seemingly an under-the-radar announcement, we’ve just been made aware of the reason behind Attorney General Eric Holder’s press conference in Philadelphia today, where he’ll be alongside Mayor Michael Nutter, Rep. Chaka Fattah and others: new security funding for the city.
The announcement, set to come at 2:30 p.m. as the mayor’s schedule notes, was being hailed as “new public safety funding in Philadelphia and across the nation” before about half-an-hour ago, when details were sent out by Rep. Chaka Fattah.
PHILADELPHIA PA, June 25 – Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) joined Attorney General Eric Holder and Mayor Michael Nutter today to announce that Philadelphia will receive $3.125 million under the COPS program, a national success story that will put more police officers on the streets of Philadelphia.
Fattah is the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies that oversees funding for the COPS program and the Department of Justice.
“As the Ranking Member on Appropriations for the Department of Justice, the COPS program is one of my highest priorities,” Fattah said. “This national program will provide $111.2 million to municipalities across the country, including $3.125 million for Philadelphia specifically.
“These important federal resources will help Philadelphia bridge the gap between its tight budget and the need for a robust police force,” Fattah said. “Making communities safer is a responsibility that must be shared by all levels of government and I’m pleased that Philadelphia is receiving this funding.”
Fattah said the grant from COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) will cover the salaries and benefits for new officers – who must be post 9/11 military veterans – or to retain or rehire officers, regardless of veteran status, who would otherwise be off the streets because of a tight municipal budget.
Philadelphia’s 2012 murder problem is no secret. And the announcement comes after a weekend of unprecedented violence the additional funding hopes to quell.
Today’s announcement comes at an interesting time for Holder, too, in which he could probably use some positive press. He’s currently knee-deep in the U.S. House’s Fast and Furious hearings, in which the attorney general has handed over a thousands of documents related to a government gun running operation in which a Border Patrol Agent was murdered. President Barack Obama recently issued an executive order holding some documents from being released regarding the issue. That move garnered an outrage storm of mass proportions across the conservative Internet. As Rachel Maddow has pointed out repeatedly, many conservatives believe the Obama DOJ had wanted to use the botched scheme as a way to push for increased federal gun restrictions.