The Right Way to ‘Send in the Feds’
Center for American Progress
Jun 19, 2017

This report examines effective, appropriate, and overlooked ways the federal government can utilize its resources to help local communities address and prevent violent crime.  It also emphasizes that while there is no nationwide American carnage and public safety is generally a local issue, Washington still has an important and distinctive role in both supporting and checking — instead of taking over — local efforts.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The need to maintain funding for comprehensive crime prevention, but the Administration instead cuts $200 million from programs that don’t have a law-enforcement only approach.
  • Federal oversight of the gun industry to reduce illegal gun trafficking needs significant additional resources.  In 2016, the ATF inspected only 7 percent of licensed gun dealers nationwide.
  • Building trust between police and communities through accountability is a crime reduction tool.  The federal government must step in where local efforts fail — such as Chicago where only 1.4% of complaints were sustained by local oversight bodies, but the city paid over $210 million to settle misconduct lawsuits.

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