WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden met with mayors and police chiefs at the White House as he announced a $10 billion effort to boost public safety.
The $10 billion comes from the US bailout and the president wants Americans to feel safe no matter where they live.
“Spend that money now that you have it,” Biden said.
Biden is calling on states across the country to use US bailout money to bolster policing and improve public safety.
“Acting today will save lives tomorrow. So use the money, hire the police, build your emergency response systems,” the president said.
Police chiefs, mayors and other local leaders were invited to discuss how they used the first tranche of funds.
“For the president to be proactive and provide that immediate funding to law enforcement, especially in some difficult times, that’s really, really helped us,” Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul Jr. said.
Paul says the funding has helped his department improve technology and community relations.
“These are funds that we wouldn’t usually have had,” Paul said.
Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas said his city has hired 150 new police officers and equipped the force with new radios.
“It allows us to invest in technology that saves lives in ways that we couldn’t have done without the support of the US bailout,” Lucas said.
But in addition to funding, Lucas is also calling on the federal government to help find ways to stop the guns he says cross state lines every day.
“What’s important for us in the long run is making sure we work together and collaborate,” Lucas said.
The president is encouraging communities to spend more money on public safety and crime prevention before the summer to combat the increase in crime that comes with the hot season.