This week, Rep. Omar (D-MN), Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, played a decisive role in negotiating a major public safety package that will invest in desperately needed mental health support, violence prevention and intervention, and services for victims of gun violence, including legislation from Reps. Porter, Horsford, Demings and Gottheimer.
"The House took an important step this week in passing a public safety package that includes meaningful accountability, training and non-violent intervention for our communities," Rep. Omar said. "Along with Congressional Progressive Caucus leader Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Congressional Black Caucus Leaders Reps. Joyce Beatty and Hakeem Jeffries, I was proud to negotiate major improvements to the package, ensuring funding was targeted to police departments with fewer than 125 officers, increasing funding for training, accountability and data collection.
"I will continue to advocate for a holistic, evidence-based approach to keeping our communities safe, including funding for programs proven to reduce crime, like community policing and after-school programs, along with investments in education, good jobs, social services, and affordable housing will help reduce crime and keep our families and communities safe."
Specifically, Rep. Omar and negotiators narrowed the package to 4 bills that had the votes to pass, and secured changes to Invest and Protect Act of 2022, adding additional accountability to ensure that police departments in small cities and communities with fewer than 125 officers. This would apply to 14 out of 15 departments in in Minnesota's 5th District. Additionally, they secured critical accountability provisions, allowing DOJ to give preference to applicants who specify in their applications that grant amounts will be used for certain eligible activities, including de-escalation training, data collection, and evidence-based best practices on the use of lethal and nonlethal force. To ensure the efficacy of the training, the bill requires the Attorney General to, on an annual basis, evaluate the success of the training programs in reducing the incidence of use of force by each law enforcement agency.