WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the Tourism District Protection Act to combat crime in areas in which tourism represents a key segment of the economy.
“The pandemic lockdowns took revenue away from Louisianians who live in tourism-dependent areas, and now crime is rising across the country. The Tourism District Protection Act would empower police in tourist areas to combat crime so that Americans can visit our country’s iconic locations without fear of getting mugged or attacked,” said Kennedy.
The Tourism District Protection Act would modify existing Justice Department law enforcement programs so that state and local law enforcement may use available funds to fight crime in places that rely on tourism. Programs include:
- The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which awards grants to state and local authorities to hire community policing professionals; develop and test innovative policing strategies; and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders and all levels of law enforcement.
- The Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program, which provides funds to help state and local law enforcement during emergencies.
- The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which provides state and local governments with funding to support a variety of programs including, but not limited to, law enforcement.
“The ‘Tourism District Protection Act’ authored by Senator John Kennedy is important legislation as it provides urgently needed public safety resources that not only benefit tourists but also improve the quality of life for all residents in communities that surround these cities. Tourism-dependent regions have experienced critical revenue declines during pandemic restrictions which left them financially devastated and with diminished capacity to fund law enforcement efforts in response to surging violent crime. Funds authorized through this legislation will serve as a foundation for prosperity, growth, and citizen safety by enabling tourist destination cities to implement strategies and bolster law enforcement initiatives to address violent crime,” said President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Inc., Rafael C. Goyeneche III.
Text of the Tourism District Protection Act is available here.