“The majority of the people in this area do not understand that the loss of federal support means a loss of local enforcement,” said Fred C. Smith, the district attorney in Comanche County and Cotton County, Oklahoma. “I don’t think they know how much cities and counties and local agencies depend on federal support.”
Smith said he has already felt the impact of declining federal dollars for law enforcement, noting that he has had to disband a federally funded financial crimes unit within his office as a result of diminishing aid. Financial crimes, including fraud and the exploitation of the elderly, have “skyrocketed in southwest Oklahoma,” he said.
“I no longer have the ability to address that type of crime with the focus that I did before,” he said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.