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After Meth Lab Fire, Yarmuth Continues Call for Law Enforcement Support

(Washington, DC) Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) made the follwing statement after a meth lab caught fire on Grinstead Drive today:

“This morning’s meth lab fire is an unfortunate example of a growing problem in Jefferson County and throughout the Commonwealth.  Too often, we don’t discover meth labs until an explosion or fire does serious damage to our fellow citizens or the surrounding property,” Congressman Yarmuth said.  “Last year, we enacted legislation that will help provide law enforcement with the tools to detect meth labs sooner, but there is more that needs to be done at the federal level.  We will continue our fight to overturn deep cuts to effective programs like Byrne-JAG that offer our police the funding and support they need to prevent these accidents and keep illegal narcotics off our streets.”

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) provides funding to states and local law enforcement agencies for crime prevention, prosecution, drug treatment, corrections, and performance improvement.  Louisville received more than $835,000 from Byrne-JAG last year.

The Administration continues to call for deep cuts in the program, and this year, slashed its FY2009 budget by 75 percent.  Last year, Yarmuth called on the budget committee to restore funding for FY2008, and they responded.  The Louisville lawmaker continues to fight for increased support for FY2009.

After years of steady decline in Byrne-JAG funding, violent crime has increased in both of the last two years. The Government Accountability Office estimates that for every one percent increase in the number of officers, the violent crime rate decreases by 0.4 percent.  If the cuts to JAG were adopted, the amount of federal law enforcement funding lost to communities would be equal to the amount needed to pay the salaries of more than 3,500 law enforcement officers.