House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) recently announced the inclusion of $1.2 billion in his FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill to hire approximately 5,525 law enforcement officers. POAM has been a fervent champion of increased funding for law enforcement and applauds Chairman Obey’s dedication to keeping our families safe by hiring more officers to protect and serve. POAM has consistently advocated for inclusion of additional law enforcement hiring dollars in any and all appropriate legislative vehicles and Chairman Obey’s bill is a huge step forward towards helping America’s communities fight crime—but the work is not over. POAM will continue to fight for this provision to remain in the final version of this legislation. We will also continue to work to insure that essential federal law enforcement programs continue to be fully funded and the needs of our law enforcement communities continue to be met.

POAM’s Letter to the Michigan Congressional Delegation

November  9TH 2009

Dear Legislators,

By way of introduction, my name is Dave La Montaine.  I currently am serving as a Detective with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.  I serve on the executive boards of the Police Officer’s Association of Michigan and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Michigan.

I have recently read an article about the proposed use of left over TARP funds.  That article got me thinking about the plight of public safety in our state.  As many of you know, public safety across Michigan as well as this country is under attack.  Not the traditional attack we often think of, but a more insidious attack.  Perpetrated, not by criminals, but by economic circumstances not within our control.  See as a police officer, I know how to deal with numerous threats, but I don’t know if my colleagues and I are equipped to meet this threat.

I do not use words like threat, and attack lightly.  What is happening to staffing levels all across our state and country is a crisis.  A crisis which has not, but needs to be addressed.

Recently the federal government had a round of COPS grant funding.  Well, there were over 8 billion dollars in requests for 1 billion in funding.  What better barometer does one require to gauge the significant problem we are all dealing with?

The impact of lay-offs are far reaching and I humbly submit will have a devastating impact on the middle class as we know it as well as the tax base in many of our communities.

The State of Michigan is cutting revenue sharing; municipalities are forced to cut staffing levels and services.  We need the help of the federal government.

I don’t know how one would argue against another round of COPS grants.  How can anyone not recognize the significant problem we are faced, and the devastating impact it will have if we continue to do nothing about it.

I am prepared to speak to this issue at any time.  Please feel free to contact me.