Representatives Cohen and Demings Introduce Safer Streets Act

July 12, 2019
Press Release
Would Provide Grants to Local Governments with High Crime Rates

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Congresswoman Val Demings (FL-10) today introduced the Safer Streets Act, which would create a new grant program to support local communities with high rates of violent crime. Afterward, Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“The Safer Streets Act is intended to provide additional funding to address violent crime in places where the rate is significantly above the national average – places like Memphis. I’m pleased my colleague Val Demings, the former Chief of Police of Orlando, joins me in introducing the measure.

“With these grants, local governments with crime rates four times the national average would be eligible for half of the funds; those with three times the national rate would be eligible for 20 percent of the funds and those with twice that national rate would be eligible for the remaining 10 percent of funds.

“The bill also creates an emergency fund for units of local government that have spikes of violent crime.”

The grants would be administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. Grants to local jurisdictions could be used for hiring additional law enforcement officers, investing in surveillance equipment, or crime prevention programs. “Violent crime” is defined in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program and includes murder, rape, assault and other criminal offenses.