Ed. Note: This blog post originally appeared on the The Justice Blog, created by the Department of Justice.
Last night, President Obama laid out a bold, comprehensive plan to save and create jobs, to advance our continuing recovery efforts, and to restore our nation’s economic strength. In the coming days, as Congress considers legislation aimed at accomplishing these goals – and as a robust national debate unfolds – it’s more important than ever to remember that economic conditions across the country are inextricably linked to the security of our communities, and the safety of the American people.
That’s why a central component of the President’s plan includes several proposals designed to preserve – and to create – critical jobs for members of the first responder community – including police officers, firefighters, and other essential public safety personnel. At a time when federal, local, state, and tribal authorities have been forced to contend with rapidly growing demands and increasingly limited budgets, this support could hardly be more necessary – or more urgent.
By providing basic resources to keep cops on the beat and firefighters on the job, we can reinforce local departments whose ranks have been depleted by budget constraints. We can maintain the core emergency response capabilities that so many Americans depend on every day. And we can reaffirm our commitment to keeping our neighborhoods safe from crime and terror.
As we look to the future, my colleagues and I across the Justice Department – and throughout the Administration – will continue to work diligently and collaboratively to prevent and combat violent crime, to protect the American people from an array of global threats, and to safeguard the sacred rights of all those we are privileged to serve. The American Jobs Act represents an essential step forward in these efforts – and will also provide the enhanced resources and authorities that are necessary not only to ensure public safety and create jobs, but to increase fairness in employment and hiring practices from coast to coast.
In moving ahead with this work, we don’t have a moment to lose. The time for decisive action is now. The American Jobs Act provides law enforcement officers and other critical public safety officials with the support – and the resources – they desperately need.
Eric Holder is the Attorney General of the United States
Find out more about the American Jobs Act