Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden proposed an additional $300 million be allotted to community policing across the nation in an opinion essay that appeared in USA Today on Wednesday.
“I’ve long been a firm believer in the power of community policing,” Biden said. “That’s why I’m proposing an additional $300 million to reinvigorate community policing in our country.”
Biden’s comments come after Republicans accused the former vice president of supporting what some see as a radical agenda to “defund the police.” The cause, which has not been backed by Biden, was advocated by some protesters who have chanted the phrase during anti-racism and racial justice demonstrations in recent weeks. Savvy Republican members of Congress have also linked the phrase to their Democratic counterparts, further advancing a narrative of an off-key Democratic cohort who seek to dismantle a system intended to keep Americans safe.
Biden wrote that he condemns “turning to violence as the first resort” and has repeatedly said that he does not support an initiative to remove funding from police departments. Instead he suggests giving those departments the resources needed to advance “meaningful reform,” and “conditioning other federal dollars” to ensure those reforms are implemented.
The presidential candidate, who is now saddled with the challenge of courting more moderate voters, offered potential uses for additional police funding such as purchasing body cameras, recruiting a more diverse police force and adopting a national standard for the use of force.