Biden says it’s time to fund the police: ‘Spend it now’

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Biden says it's time to fund the police: 'Spend it now'

President Biden on Sunday urged cities and states to use their leftover federal stimulus money to beef up law enforcement — the day after a gunman killed 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store.

Biden, speaking at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, urged local officials to spend the money on cops, including for better training and hiring.

“I’m encouraging every mayor, governor to use the American resource money they have, and they have it now, you spend it now, this summer, when crime historically spikes,” Biden said on the west front of the US Capitol.

Biden’s remarks are a sharp turn from the Democratic Party’s stance from a few years ago that pushed to cut police budgets.

Biden, speaking ahead of November’s midterms, added that he is committed to being a partner with police officers “as I always have.”

Biden's statement comes after an alleged white supremest killed 10 people in Buffalo grocery store.
Biden’s statement comes after an alleged white supremest killed 10 people in Buffalo grocery store.
Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

A few days ago, he made a similar plea to cities to hire more cops during a speech at the Rose Garden that featured police chiefs.

On Sunday, he brought up Saturday’s deadly supermarket shooting in Buffalo that left 10 people dead, saying white supremacy and extremism motivated the massacre.

“We’re still gathering the facts, but already the Justice Department has stated publicly that it is investigating the matter as a hate crime, racially motivated act of white supremacy and violent and extremism,” Biden said.

President Biden has said that local officials need to spend the money on cops.
President Biden has said that local officials need to spend the money on cops.
Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

“Folks the answer is not to abandon the streets, it’s not to choose between safety and equal justice, and we should agree it’s not to defund the police, it’s to fund the police,” Biden said. “Fund them with the resources, training they need to protect our communities and themselves and restore trust among the police and the people.”

Biden, who was accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden, also said police officers need more mental-health help. He noted suicide was the second leading cause of death for officers, only trailing COVID in 2021.

“We expect you to be everything. We expect everything of you,” Biden said of officers. “Being a cop today is a heck of a lot harder than it’s ever been.”

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