Boozman Files Amendment to Senate Appropriations Bill to Help Arkansas Law Enforcement Fight Violent Crime
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations (CJS) bill to ensure that Arkansas law enforcement agencies are compensated through equitable sharing funds for their help in investigations resulting in federal forfeitures.
“Equitable sharing funds are vital for drug and violent crime task forces and other essential law enforcement operations that focus on removing the worst criminal offenders from our streets and protecting our communities. This amendment would provide Arkansas law enforcement agencies with the assurance that they will be compensated for their important work in accordance with their agreement with the Department of Justice,” Boozman said.
In December of 2015, participating Arkansas law enforcement agencies were informed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was deferring all payments immediately and for an unknown amount of time. This reckless mismanagement of the program left many agencies vulnerable. After Boozman and other members pressured Attorney General Loretta Lynch at numerous Congressional hearings, DOJ ultimately reinstated the program.
Boozman’s amendment would ensure that DOJ spends Equitable Sharing funds appropriately and does not have the authority to arbitrarily defer or suspend them in the future. This amendment requires both the DOJ and the law enforcement participants to uphold the policies and rules of the program by providing oversight and transparency through reports to Congress and enforcement through audits of participants.