Sen. Patrick Leahy and Burlington Police Chief Mike Schirling were quoted today in the New York Times, on the inclusion of money for police in the federal stimulus package.
Here's the link:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/us/politics/06cops.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
Leahy defends use of stimulus money for this item that does not particularly seem to meet the definition. He says:
''In police hiring, nearly 100 percent of the money goes to creating jobs.
'This is particularly important in the current economic crisis, since many
police departments are already reporting increases in crime and cuts in their
budgets and their forces.''
A senior analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, David B.
Muhlhausen, who has written about the COPS program, disagreed, saying there was
''no evidence that funding for these kinds of programs will stimulate the
Schirling talks of the potential - as yet unseen - of an increase in crime with the tanking economy.
Michael E. Schirling, the police chief in Burlington, Vt., a city of 40,000, said in an interview that while he expected crime to rise because of the troubled economy, it had not done so yet. But Chief Schirling said that ''the wave of economic troubles surely has the potential to drive not only crime but the stresses that drive people to alcohol and drug abuse, and that increases the volume of calls to law enforcement agencies.''
It's hard to argue against police, and it's really hard to argue that Vermont as a whole isn't sorely understaffed in that area, but is this stimulus?
- Terri Hallenbeck