(USA Features) Sen. Josh Hawley on Wednesday proposed legislation that would fund the hiring of an additional 100,000 police officers around the country as violent crimes and murders rise dramatically in most major U.S. cities.
The Missouri Republican’s proposal runs counter to Democratic pushes to defund local police departments, which GOP lawmakers have blamed, in part, on the rising crime rates.
Republicans have also said Democratic city officials are also not supportive of their police departments, which has contributed to an exodus of officers from major metro areas, highlighting the need for Hawley’s bill.
“American families aren’t safe, but they deserve to be. And they can be if we will act. This is not the time to defund the police or vilify them, but to support the brave men and women in blue – and put more of them on the streets. Immediately,” Hawley said.
A statement from his office added context.
“As violent crime continues to plague the country, communities and law enforcement officers are under siege. Homicides are dramatically increasing across American cities, and violent crime is hitting generational highs,” the statement said.
“Meanwhile, police departments are facing million-dollar budget cuts, violence against police officers is increasing nationwide, and low morale among officers is causing departments to struggle with recruiting new applicants,” it added.
Among other measures, Hawley’s bill would authorize concealed carry for all officers everywhere they go; add protection for federal judges and courthouses; prevent federal officers from being “doxxed”; and add penalties for assaulting police officers in the line of duty.
“Violent crime is surging across the country. Our families need protection. Our cops need support. We should raise officers’ pay and put 100,000 new cops on the beat,” Hawley noted on Twitter.