Sen. Tester cracks down on crime, fire through new legislation

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By U.S. Senator Jon Tester

Big Horn County’s law enforcement officers work hard every day to keep our families and communities safe. But protecting Montanans and cracking down on crime is a round-the-clock challenge that requires our constant support.

That’s why as ranking member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I partnered with Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation that invests in our police officers, sheriff’s offices, firefighters, and Customs and Border Protection agents.

These additional resources will help law enforcement officers in Hardin team up with their federal counterparts to stop drugs from entering our state and to crack down on crime.

I have been meeting face-to-face with law enforcement in every corner of Montana, and their input is directly reflected in this bipartisan law.

We increased the amount of funding for Operation Stonegarden Program grants by 55 percent. These grants have been utilized across Montana to defend our borders, intercept illegal drugs at our ports and combat human trafficking.

To better secure our ports of entry along the Hi-Line, I also secured more resources for the Customs and Border Protection. These additional funds will hire more officers along the border and install new hi-tech equipment that will better detect illegal drugs that are entering our country.

Our cops, sheriffs, and border patrol officers aren’t the only heroes who keep us safe. Montana firefighters enter harm’s way every day and it is our responsibility to ensure that they have the safest equipment available.

I worked closely with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to include funding for critical firefighter grants that have been used in Big Horn County to update equipment, hire new firefighters, provide training and keep our firefighters safe. Rural and volunteer fire departments often operate on razor-thin margins and these grants will help them fully prepare for when disaster strikes.

As your senator, I will always protect Montanans and never back down from ensuring our law enforcement officers and firefighters have everything they need to keep us safe.