As Mike Pence heads to North Charleston today to meet with law enforcement officials, a look at his record shows that Pence has repeatedly opposed providing critical funding for local law enforcement and public safety.
In 2021, Pence rallied Republicans to vote against President Biden and Democrats’ American Rescue Plan – which dedicated $6.5 billion in state and local funds to implement more public safety programs and strengthen police departments – and later called the passage “deeply disappointing.” Despite Pence’s opposition, South Carolina communities across the state used ARP funding to improve public safety:
- In Dorchester County, local officials are using ARP funds to keep staff and community members safe by renovating their spaces — reducing overcrowding and installing bullet proof glass.
- Greenwood County used $1.2 million to fill more than 30 vacancies for EMS and at the county jail.
- The city of Columbia used ARP funds to upgrade firefighters’ facilities and reduce their risk of exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, and gave millions to police officers for surveillance equipment and DNA technology in an effort to reduce violent crime.
Additionally, as Donald Trump’s Vice President, Pence advocated for federal budgets year after year that would cut funding for local law enforcement programs and eliminate community policing initiatives across the country:
- Wall Street Journal: “The [Trump] administration’s 2021 budget, like all its previous budgets, recommended eliminating the Community Relations Services and Community Oriented Policing Services and placing their functions under other parts of the department to ‘improve efficiency.’”
No matter what Pence says today in South Carolina, his record speaks for itself: When it comes to supporting law enforcement, Mike Pence is all talk.