President Joe Biden will set out plans on Thursday to ask Congress for $37 billion for crime prevention initiatives, addressing one of the top worries of Americans ahead of the November midterm elections.

In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Biden will lay out the specifics of his Safer America Plan. The $37 billion will be included in his fiscal 2023 budget proposal to Congress, which starts Oct. 1.

According to a White House fact sheet, his proposals include spending $13 billion over the next five years to employ and train an extra 100,000 police officers.

Biden has always opposed progressive Democrats’ efforts to “defund the police.” Polls indicate that Americans perceive crime to be one of the most pressing issues confronting the nation, and Biden is aiming to rally Democrats ahead of the November midterm elections, which will decide whether Democrats retain control of Congress.

Biden proposes spending $3 billion to assist communities in clearing court backlogs and establishing task groups to exchange information in order to reduce gun violence. In the midst of a drug overdose crisis, his proposal would also impose harsher punishments for fentanyl trafficking.

To combat organized retail theft, the strategy calls on Congress to establish legislation requiring online marketplaces such as Amazon (AMZN.O) to validate third-party sellers’ identification and to hold online marketplaces liable for the sale of stolen items on their platforms.

According to the White House, Biden’s plan calls for a $15 billion grant program called Accelerating Justice System Reform, which cities and states could use over the next ten years to pursue strategies to prevent violent crime and ease the burden on police by identifying nonviolent situations that may merit a public-health response.

Source: Reuters

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