Casey
Casey

In York on Wednesday, Sen. Bob Casey said there have been too many recent reminders of what can happen when government does not support good policy.

So, he said, he called a press conference at York City Hall to highlight some existing programs that are proven to work "and yet they're not getting enough funding."

One example, he said, is the federal COPS program that pays for local law-enforcement officers. The 20-year-old program has put 55 police officers on York County streets since its inception 20 years ago, the Democratic senator said. Yet, its funding has been cut from $298 million to $141 million since 2010, he said.

Casey also pointed to programs that help police departments pay for equipment such as bulletproof vests - a specific federal program that's been cut by $6 million in the past two years, he said.

"What did that cut do to our economy? How did it help us?" Casey said. "Of course, the answer is not a bit."

York City Police Chief Wes Kahley thanked the senator "for taking this fight on" and said his department depends on federal programs like the ones Casey mentioned.

In particular, the COPS program is currently funding the salaries of five city police officers who have been assigned to patrol city neighborhoods, Kahley said.

"It's having an effect," he said.

- Erin James may also be reached at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.