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Senator Amy Klobuchar

Working for the People of Minnesota

Public Safety

Before coming to the Senate, I served for eight years as chief prosecutor for Minnesota's most populous county, serving more than one million residents in Minneapolis and 45 suburban communities. I know that government's first responsibility is to protect the safety of its citizens - from providing Minnesota's law enforcement officers with the resources to do their jobs, to ensuring that the products on store shelves are safe for consumers, to making sure that our state's infrastructure is safe and sound.

In recent years, especially since 9/11, we have placed ever greater responsibilities on our police officers and first responders, who have been expected to improve their abilities in responding to crises. But during this same time, key sources of support for law enforcement have been cut. In the past, federal funds have been used to hire new police officers, purchase necessary equipment, train law enforcement personnel and acquire information systems to coordinate communications among first responders and various criminal justice agencies. At a time when state and local budgets are tight, these federal funds have become even more important in assisting local law enforcement to fulfill their duties and protect Minnesotans.

The 35W bridge tragedy also demonstrated the important role that infrastructure plays throughout our state. Bridges, tunnels, highways and airports play a huge role in our state's economy, and it is vital that the infrastructure in Minnesota be safe and efficient. I have worked to secure the resources necessary to maintain the safety of these key components of our state, and I will continue that work.

Since becoming Minnesota's U.S. Senator, I have worked to make sure our law enforcement authorities have the resources they need to protect public safety and to ensure the safety and quality of our public infrastructure by:

  • Securing more than $250 million to begin the reconstruction of the 35W bridge. Working together with other members of the Minnesota delegation, we accomplished this in record time to meet the safety and transportation needs of our state.
  • Cosponsoring and passing a 2009 budget amendment that adds $551 million to Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.COPS is a successful, bipartisan program with a proven record of reducing crime by helping local police departments put more officers on the street. As chief prosecutor for Minnesota's largest county, I saw for myself what a difference it makes when law enforcement officers can actually create a partnership with the community in Minnesota.
  • Adopting the remaining recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. These reforms, which had languished in Congress for several years until 2007, will provide increased funding to protect ports, borders, and critical infrastructure, including improved rail and aviation security. They also send states and local governments resources to prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters.
  • Restoring funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program. This program provides support to local law enforcement authorities for multi-jurisdictional drug task forces, anti-gang efforts, specialized prosecutors and other crime-fighting initiatives. I successfully fought efforts by the current Administration to eliminate funding for the Byrne Grant program.

But the fight to protect public safety and national security is an ongoing one. As Minnesota's Senator, I will continue working to protect public safety by:

  • Providing our state and local communities with the support they need to hire, train and equip first responders. We must enhance and expand the programs that support local authorities as they prepare for and react to local crises or homeland security threats. I will continue to champion full funding for the COPS program, Byrne Justice grants and other key federal resources for law enforcement and public security.
  • Ensuring that police officers have the support they need to prevent violent and drug-related crime. We must continue to target violent crime and drug-related crime through partnerships among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. I've seen the tragic impact of the methamphetamine epidemic in rural Minnesota. To tackle that epidemic and other drug scourges, we must continue to support law-enforcement partnerships with proven track records in arresting and prosecuting drug dealers.
  • Working to make sure our children are safe from online predators and inappropriate content on the Internet. I cosponsored the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, which would help parents protect their children from inappropriate Website content by requiring the Federal Trade Commission to implement a national educational campaign to promote the safe use of the Internet by children and directing the U.S. Commerce Department to create a private sector working group to evaluate industry efforts to promote online safety. The legislation would also increase the maximum fines that may be assessed against certain Internet service providers for failing to report child pornography. In a fast-changing society, parents need all the help they can get to protect their children from emerging threats to their safety, and I am committed to this work in the Senate.

Senator Klobuchar’s Offices

302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main Line: 202-224-3244
Main Fax: 202-228-2186
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043

1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 612-727-5223
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043

1134 7th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Main Line: 507-288-5321
Fax: 507-288-2922

121 4th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56560
Main Line: 218-287-2219
Fax: 218-287-2930

Olcott Plaza, Suite 105
820 9th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792
Main Line: 218-741-9690
Fax: 218-741-3692