In the wake of 9/11, and the emerging threats our nation faces, we are asking our first responders to do more and more to protect us. Whether it is handling hazardous materials, rescuing victims of a natural disaster, or responding to a criminal or terrorist threat, the responsibilities of our public safety officers have grown to face the challenges of a changed world.
Bill has been a consistently vocal advocate for public safety and a champion of increased assistance to those who serve us. He has fought to stop the Administration's annual attempts to decimate the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which helps add police officers into our schools and onto our streets. He also authored the enormously successful "Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement Act" or "FIRE Act," signed into law in 2000 by President Clinton, which was the first comprehensive national legislation dedicated to meet the needs of America's 32,000 volunteer, paid, and part-paid fire departments.
He has also lobbied to bring in more federal dollars to help pay for the increased equipment and training of New Jersey's public safety officials, and will continue to work for these first responder grants as a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. Bill has worked successfully to finally get New Jersey its fair share of security grants by insisting that risk and vulnerabilities are taken into greater consideration within the State Homeland Security Grant Program. This includes his push for additional funding for the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which specifically addresses the unique planning, operations, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high density Urban Areas.
And with the understanding that public safety is a priority consisting of many components, Bill has authored an array of diverse legislation. Indeed, Bill focuses on the public good when doing his work in Washington-like his common sense legislation that requires that universities conduct annual fire safety reports for their students in his "Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act." Bill has also strived to ensure that new federal chemical security standards will not preempt the stronger chemical security standards already in place in New Jersey.
The federal government asks a lot out of our firefighters, police, and medical personnel. Bill demands that Washington does all it can to help these men and women do their job to ensure the safety of all Americans.