Tyrone Booth and Jesse Carpenter are police officers in Flint, Michigan -- where Vice President Biden visited earlier this month. Because of budget cuts, they've seen their department shrink since the start of the recession. In fact, at various times in recent years, each has been laid off from the force. Both are keenly aware of the ways in which these reductions have put public safety at risk.
Officer Booth says the Flint police must now prioritize the calls to which they respond. A shooting or an assault must come before a break-in or a burglary, which can be hard for citizens affected. "When someone's home has been burglarized, it's a very sensitive and serious offense to them,” he said. “And we're just unable to get there in a timely manner."
Keeping Americans safe is a top priority for President Obama, which is why the American Jobs Act will provide $5 billion to help states and local communities keep first responders on the job. Earlier, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at a gathering of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and discussed the Administration's support for the nation's fire fighters and police officers.
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