Improving Public Safety and Strengthening Communities


Keeping our communities safe means providing Rhode Island law enforcement with the resources they need to deter, prevent, and prosecute crime.  It also means fostering collaborative partnerships between citizens, businesses, and cops on the beat.

As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, Reed has secured vital funding for local police departments.  He helped local communities create a unified, interoperable, emergency communications system so police, firefighters, and emergency officials can effectively communicate during emergencies. Reed also recognizes the need to help the victims of crime through initiatives like the Violence Against Women Act, smart and sensible sentencing, and investments in education and employment for our young people.

In an effort to reduce crime nationwide, Senator Reed helped pass legislation to allow local police departments across the country to hire 100,000 new police officers through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.  To date, Rhode Island communities have obtained over $50 million in federal funding through this program to hire over 400 police officers.

Reed hosts an annual FIRE grant workshop that has helped Rhode Island fire departments obtain over $44 million in federal support to improve their emergency response capabilities.  He has also cosponsored legislation to provide police officers with life-saving bulletproof vests.  Since 1999, this program has helped Rhode Island police departments purchase more than 7,000 vests.


Key Priorities & Accomplishments

  • Senator Reed helped pass Megan’s Law and the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Database Act to crack down on violent offenders who prey on the most vulnerable members of our society.
  • Reed fought for initiatives like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program, which supports activities for children before and after school that have been proven to reduce crime, drug use, teen pregnancy, and improve academic achievement.
  • To provide critical support and legal aid for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, Senator Reed has long supported and cosponsored the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and bills to renew this critical law.
  • Reed secured $1 million in funding for the Providence Police Department’s Gun Violence and Gang Reduction Initiative to expand intervention efforts that specifically address gun-related violence and gang activity occurring in the city.
  • Senator Reed cosponsored the Second Chance Act, which was signed into law, to strengthen programs to reduce recidivism through job-skill training, substance abuse treatment, and other support services that increase the odds of successfully transitioning back into society as law-abiding citizens.

Read more by visiting Senator Reed's Working for RI page.