Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and several other big city chiefs will be in Washington, D.C., tomorrow to testify in front of a Senate Committee about the need for an increase in federal funding for state and local cops.
Ramsey's argument is pretty simple. Since 9/11, the federal government has cut the amount of money it gives to local law enforcement by 80 percent, while directing more resources to the Department of Homeland Security. Philadelphia police received about $3.5 million from the feds last year, compared to an all-time high of $36 million in 1996, Ramsey will say, according a copy of his statement released early today.
More federal dollars would translate into more cops, better technology and better training. Without a boost in funding, police departments across the country will be stuck in fiscal quicksand. This is not a scenario Ramsey wants to see. "When we as a nation have to compromise the safety of our citizens, it's time to re-examine our priorities at the national level," Ramsey will say.
Ramsey won't be the only local guy in Washington tomorrow hoping to see federal dollars rain on Philly, according to my colleague Catherine Lucey.