Houlahan Calls for Congressional Action on Bipartisan Measures to Improve Public Safety
West Chester, July 15, 2022 | Michelle Dorothy (4124189660)
West Chester, PA – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), called on Congressional leaders to pass the Invest to Protect Act and six additional bipartisan bills that would improve public safety and reduce violent crime.
“In the same way we support our troops who serve and protect our nation, we must support our police who serve and protect our communities,” said Houlahan. “This bipartisan package of bills does that by investing in programs that de-escalate violence, improve mental healthcare, and boost recruitment, retention, training, and accountability of local law enforcement. These bills are ready for passage, and I urge Congressional leadership to bring them to a vote.”
The bills are:
· H.R. 6448, the Invest to Protect Act, which increases funding to police departments with fewer than 200 officers
· H.R. 6375, the COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act, which modifies the COPS program so funding can be used to increase compensation
· H.R. 7826, the Pathways to Policing Act, which provides funding for recruitment of law enforcement officers
· H.R. 5768, the VICTIM Act, which provides funding for technology and supportive resources to increase the solve rate of violent crimes
· H.R. 2864, the Clean Slate Act, which establishes a framework for sealing records for certain nonviolent offences
· H.R. 3127, the Safe Interactions Act, which provides training to law enforcement to improve engagement with individuals with disabilities
· H.R. 1368, the Mental Health Justice Act, which enables localities to dispatch mental health professionals, instead of law enforcement, where appropriate
Rep. Houlahan has been working to keep people safe here in her community since she first took office in 2019. She’s held multiple town halls on gun violence prevention, hosted a roundtable on the opioid epidemic with Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, participated in a ride-a-long with a local police department, written numerous letters of support for federal grants to local police departments, and met with teachers to discuss improved resources for student’s mental health.
Earlier this year, she submitted a Community Project Funding request for $325,000 for the Chester County District Attorney’s Office. If included in the annual federal government funding bill, these funds would be used to acquire a Rapid DNA instrument, scientific and technology support services, and supplies to help bolster law enforcement efficiency and improve community outcomes. This technology will enable law enforcement officers to obtain DNA results in 90 minutes, helping to solve crimes faster and potentially exonerate those who may have been falsely accused of a crime.
Rep. Houlahan has also been working in Washington to keep her community safe. As a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, she joined her colleagues earlier this year in calling on House leadership to bring four of these bills up for a vote. As a member of the leadership team of the New Democrat Coalition, she helped organize a Coalition-wide endorsement of seven public safety bills. She published an op-ed on the importance of enacting the Invest to Protect Act. Most recently, she helped pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first gun violence prevention legislation signed into law in almost 30 years. Last year, she helped pass the American Rescue Plan which, to date, has provided $10 billion in new public safety and violence prevention funding.
Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Small Business Committee. She is the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award which “recognizes members who demonstrate the bipartisan leadership and constructive governing necessary to move our country forward.”