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CRIME BILL LOSS UPSETS W.V. CHIEF, CORRADINI

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Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini said she was "extremely unhappy" about the crime bill's collapse, which she said would have meant $150 million to help Utah cities fight crime. West Valley Police Chief Dennis Nordfelt is also upset, but the county's chief law enforcement officer does not agree.

"I was not unhappy with the defeat of the bill as it was written," said Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard."I'm a little concerned that we lost some money but I disagree with some comments I've heard that the state of Utah lost millions of dollars. How can we lose something we don't have?"

The sheriff said there was nothing in the bill that guaranteed Utah would receive anywhere near the millions of dollars being discussed.

He believes the bill contained too may social programs that don't relate to law enforcement and said even the support of the National Sheriff's Association was waning as amendments to the bill were added. Kennard believes, however, that Congress will come up with something better.

"I think they will get off their dime and you'll see a bare bones crime bill that will do something for the cops on the street," he said. "Let's get police, not pork."

But Corradini and Nordfelt said the bill would have helped Utah.

"I am really disgusted with Congress. They can't get their act together and resolve their differences and so nothing good happens," Nordfelt said.

"They get hung up on things that are the least important issues. Whether or not we have gun control has far less to do with the crime in West Valley City than does the additional resources that would enable us to put more police officers on the street."

"It's the mayors and cities of America that are fighting the crime problem and we need help," Corradini said.

Salt Lake City planned to apply for money to hire 35 to 50 new police officers if the bill had passed. The city also expected to pursue grants through the Local Partnership Act to fund several anti-crime programs.

With each reworking of the bill it gets weaker, Corradini said. She expects the National Rifle Association will lobby to strip a ban on assault weapons from the bill in the next go-round.

"We're paying our money into the federal budget and the most critical issue facing society today, according to polls in West Valley City, is crime and violence. And we're not getting any federal dollars back, at least not enough," Nordfelt said.

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Additional Information

Utah vote

Rep. Karen Shepherd, D-Utah, voted to debate the crime package; Reps. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, and Bill Orton, D-Utah, voted to keep it from reaching the House floor. ||||||||||||||||||||| JUNK