The House today passed a slate of bills to provide much-needed funding to local law enforcement agencies, including H.R. 5768, the VICTIM Act—a bill Rep. Greg Stanton cosponsored to establish a grant program to hire, train, and retain detectives to investigate homicides, rapes, sexual assaults, kidnappings, and non-fatal shootings; invest in investigative and evidence processing equipment; and ensure victim services are fully funded and staffed

“Arizona law enforcement is working around the clock to solve violent crimes, and it’s critical that they have the resources they need to keep our communities safe and support victims and their families,” Stanton said.

The VICTIM Act is widely supported by the law enforcement community including the Fraternal Order of Police, the Major City Chiefs Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the National Association of Police Organizations.

According to data collected by the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer, between 2019 and 2020 violent crime incidents in the United States Increased by 4.6% overall. For the same time period in Arizona, the violent crime rate rose by 8.6%, or 484.8 violent crimes for every 100,000 people. But as homicide and other violent crime rates have increased, law enforcement agencies struggle to consistently clear cases without additional resources.

The package also includes targeted investments in programs proven to reduce crime, like community policing, and funds mental health intervention so that police can focus on fighting violent crime:

  • H.R. 6448, the Invest to Protect Act of 2022, will establish a grant through the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to help small law enforcement agencies fund training, mental health support, recruitment, and retention. The bill gives agencies the flexibility to spend money where it will have the most impact for their unique circumstances and make meaningful investments in their officers and communities.
  • H.R. 8542, the Mental Health Justice Act of 2022, will create a grant program to hire and train mental health professionals to respond to mental health crises in our neighborhoods. These mental health providers would act as a mental health emergency response team, deployed when 911 is called because someone is in a mental health crisis or related situation. Mental health providers would be the first on the scene to help the individual and could help them access appropriate community resources.
  • H.R. 4118, the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, will create grant programs to establish and/or support effective, evidence-based community violence intervention programs.