FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Criminal Justice Degrees - Columbia Southern University
Let Columbia Southern University help you change your community with an MBA in...

Top News

Fed Budget Cuts Would Reduce LE Strength

February 14, 2013  | 

Photo via Inventorchris/Flickr.
Photo via Inventorchris/Flickr.

Automatic federal budget cuts set to go into effect March 1 would likely trigger mandatory furloughs among agencies such as the FBI, ATF, and Border Patrol, as well as sharp reductions in grants that bring equipment and personnel to local agencies.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 implemented a process known as budget sequestration, which requires the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to each absorb a 9% funding cut.

"If there is a sequestration, it would have a terribly adverse effect on law enforcement," said James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. "How the agencies administer the cuts is to a degree up to the agency."

The cuts would remove agents from the front lines, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate's appropriations committee on Thursday.

"DHS simply cannot absorb the additional reduction posed by sequestration without significantly and negatively affecting frontline operations and our nation's previous investments in homeland security," Napolitano said.

On Thursday, a group of Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nevada) and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (Maryland) proposed a package of $110 billion in cuts to replace the $85 billion under sequestration. That plan drew mixed review, reports The Hill.

Federal documents obtained by POLICE Magazine outline cuts likely to be implemented by federal law enforcement agencies.

The Department of Justice would cut more than $1.6 billion from its 2012-13 fiscal budget that runs through Sept. 30.

The DOJ would lose the equivalent of more than 1,000 federal agents to combat violent crime, pursue financial crimes, help secure the southwest border, and ensure national security, as well as the equivalent of 1,300 correctional officers to maintain the safe and secure confinement of inmates in federal prisons.

The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Prisons, and U.S. Marshals Service would immediately furlough employees.

To cut $550 million, the FBI would furlough all personnel for 14 days, implement a hiring freeze, and curtail joint task forces dealing with human trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and other areas.

To cut nearly $60 million, the ATF would be forced to reduce criminal investigations, firearms and explosives industry inspections, firearms and explosives permitting, and firearms tracing.

"These reductions make no sense considering our emphasis on fighting gun violence and they would thwart the President's plan to protect our children and our communities from gun violence," Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a Feb. 1 letter to Mikulski.

To cut nearly $60 million, the U.S. Marshals Service would furlough its employees for 13 days, implement a hiring freeze, and reduce the number of marshals assigned to seek and capture fugitives.

Homeland Security cuts would reduce the operations of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and the Secret Service.

The cuts could come as President Obama and federal lawmakers begin prioritizing immigration reform and border security. To cut more than $500 million, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection would reduce staffing at points of entry by implementing furloughs, reducing overtime pay, and reducing hiring of "backfill" positions, Napolitano said.

The Coast Guard would curtail air and surface operations by 25% and defer training.

Under sequestration, ICE would reduce detention and removal operations, curtail investigations, and reduce or eliminate funding for wiretaps under Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act.

U.S. Secret Service agents would face furloughs of up to seven days, which would hinder ongoing criminal and protective intelligence investigations.

State and local law enforcement agencies would be indirectly affected, Pasco added.

"Grants that flow through the Justice Department to state and local law enforcement would be cut even as everything else is being cut," Pasco said. "The money available to state and local law enforcement would be curtailed by this sequester."

By Paul Clinton


Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine