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CSSA Positions on Federal Legislation - 2006

6/27/06 Concern re criteria and methodology used for determining funding allocations under the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program.  For FY 2006, San Diego and Sacramento were not ranked as high-risk cities by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which prompts CSSA’s question of the DHS funding process.

Sacramento is the capital of the most populous state in the nation and home to dozens of critical federal and state government buildings. In addition, much of the state's water, electricity, and telecommunication systems are managed from Sacramento. The San Diego area contains the nation's 7th-largest city adjacent to a heavily trafficked international border, a busy port, tourist attractions, and major military installations.

CSSA is also concerned that homeland security funding for state and local assistance grants has been reduced.  California is successfully using these grants to build important capabilities including intelligence gathering and analysis, exercises and training, and interoperable communications.  We urge the funding level for these vital areas be restored.  It is also very important that the rural areas in our state receive appropriate consideration.  Many of these areas are sites of significant water systems, dams and other vital infrastructure for California.

There has been substantial debate with respect to how domestic preparedness dollars should be allocated to state and local governments.  While we support the continuing efforts to ensure that the bulk of local homeland security assistance is distributed based on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities, there must be better collaboration with state, local, and private sectors as the assessment process moves forward.  We ask that DHS develop future plans and strategies only after soliciting input and discussion from all involved.

California’s Sheriffs are committed to keeping our communities safe, combating terrorism and preparing for and responding to emergencies.  Your support in ensuring we have the necessary resources is critical to this mission and will enhance the safety and security of Californians and all Americans.

6/12/06 Support re Byrne-JAG Program.  Urge support to approve $900 million for the FFY 2007 Byrne-JAG program.  This $900 million is the same level of funding that was included in this year's congressional budget resolution, which was strongly supported and is very much needed by law enforcement.  Information provided by the National Sheriffs’ Association on the national impact of Byrne-JAG grant recipients in just one year reveals that the program's return on investment in protecting our communities is considerable.  Below is the most recent data available regarding Byrne-JAG from the U.S. Department of Justice combined with results of an informal survey of all states conducted by the Iowa Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy.

Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Task Force Activity:

2,794 Personnel / 221,475 Drug Arrests (79 per FTE)

17,991 Kilograms of Cocaine Seized (6 Kilograms per FTE)

5,452 Kilograms of Methamphetamine Seized (2 Kilograms per FTE)

1,177 Kilograms of Heroin Seized (0.4 Kilograms per FTE)

855,309 Pounds of Processed Marijuana Seized (306 Pounds per FTE)

8,982 Meth Lab Responses (3 Responses per FTE)

54,050 Weapons Seized (19 Weapons per FTE)

Community & Neighborhood Crime Prevention Activity:

6,788,387 Citizens Involved in Crime Prevention Projects

134,966 Juveniles Served by Crime Prevention Projects

Treatment of Drug Offenders & Correctional System Improvements Activity

49,866 Offenders Received Prison, Jail or Detention-Based Treatment

56,186 Offenders Received Community-Based Treatment

3/31/06 Support re Law Enforcement Programs Funding. Urge support as Congress considers the budget for fiscal year 2007.  The programs include the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, the Community Oriented Policing Program (COPS) and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). These are important and effective programs.  SCAAP provides federal assistance to states and localities that are incurring costs of incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens who have been accused or convicted of state and local offenses and have been incarcerated for a minimum of four consecutive days.  The Byrne discretionary grants provide needed support for drug task forces in California.

3/31/06 Support FY 2007 Funding for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) State Automated Victim Notification (SAVIN) grant program at $12 million. Statewide automated victim notification programs provides victims the ability to receive up-to-date information about the custody status of their offenders, and the court status of their cases, over the telephone or via the Web.

3/31/06 Oppose HR 4466 (Rush) “The Family Telephone Connection Protection Act of 2005” which would establish unreasonable and restrictive requirements in order to provide telephone services to inmates.

1/30/06 Support the Violence Against Children Act (VACA) (Boxer).  The bill would provide a comprehensive approach to combating violent crimes against children. It creates a new federal crime for willfully injuring or attempting to injure a child, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  If the crime is kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse or murder, the maximum penalty will be life in prison.  The Act will also provide law enforcement with resources necessary to combat these crimes to include specialized training and funding for creating law enforcement units dedicated to handling crimes against children.  The bill addresses violence against children on a number of important levels, providing areas of training, enforcement and investigation, prosecution and sentencing as well as recognizing the importance of the medical and psychological needs of crime victims and their families.

1/30/06 Support HR 3900 (Drier), the Peace Officer Justice Act.  The legislation would make it a federal crime to murder any peace officer in the line of duty and flee to another state or foreign country to escape prosecution.  The bill would enhance the punishment for cop-killers and those who aid them, providing priority to state/local prosecutors in such cases and clarifying that state/local jurisdiction is not superseded.  Further, it urges renegotiation of the U.S. – Mexico Extradition Treaty to resolve the death penalty/life imprisonment roadblock.

1/30/06 Support S 1789 (Specter), the “Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2005.”  The bill addresses prevention and mitigation of identify theft.

1/30/06 Support of the federal “DNA Fingerprint Act,” which has been incorporated in Section 1001 of S 1197 (Biden).  This measure will extend California’s Proposition 69 initiative to the national level by expanding the National DNA Index to include arrestee and legally obtained samples.