Senior Letter- July 2009
We are observing Home Safety Month. If you ask most people where they feel safest, most will say their homes, which is why this month's newsletter is dedicated to educating and empowering families to make their homes and communities safer.
In Congress, we continue to fight for appropriate federal support for our first responders, those on the frontlines of home safety, because I strongly believe we must ensure that those who unfailingly respond to emergencies have sufficient personnel and appropriate equipment to do their jobs and protect the public's safety.
Throughout my time in Congress, I have spearheaded and supported efforts recommending increased funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, a highly successful initiative established in the 1990's that provides resources for state and local law enforcement agencies to hire and train community policing professionals, acquire and deploy cutting-edge, crime-fighting technologies and develop and test innovative policing strategies.
Recently the House passed the COPS Improvements Act (H.R. 1139), which calls for putting 50,000 additional police officers on the street over the next 5 years. It authorizes COPS hiring grants, technology grants, and the hiring of community prosecutors. This bill now awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
With news reports suggesting that calls to fire departments have doubled over the past twenty years, I have also been working to ensure that annual spending measures appropriately prioritize firefighter grant programs and that we are assisting fire departments in hiring more personnel.
Meanwhile, according to the Home Safety Council, a 501(c) (3) dedicated to preventing home injuries, there are simple things you can do to help save lives. With just a few minutes, you and your loved ones can avoid serious and costly injuries. If you install the right products and do some simple planning, you can make your home a safer place.
For instance, the Home Safety Council recommends we make the following house adjustments because home safety and survival begin with being prepared:
- Have a service person check heaters, stoves and fireplaces every year to see that they work well
- Review the labels of products in your home to determine if items are flammable or hazardous. Relocate them appropriately.
- Keep grills at least ten feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.
I look forward to working to ensure that the growing needs of first responders are given the consideration they deserve and that you receive your fair share of safety resources. As always, if you have any further questions regarding these matters or others of importance to you, I encourage you to contact me or Cheryl Gresek, my Constituent Service Representative, at (978) 531-1669.
John F. Tierney
Member of Congress