Tester Meets with Montana Law Enforcement Officials to Discuss Public Safety, Early Childhood Programs

Senator: “I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with local law enforcement officers who protect our kids and our communities every day”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today met with Beaverhead County Attorney Jed Fitch, and Lewis and Clark County Sheriff and County Attorney Leo Dutton to discuss the importance of early childhood programs in Montana communities as well as what Congress can do to support local communities and law enforcement agencies in preventing crime, keeping kids safe, and ensuring public safety across Montana.

“I agree with Montana law enforcement officials that it’s critical we make smart investments in young children and families that pay huge dividends down the road,” said Tester. “Early childhood health, education, and safety resources needs to stay a top priority, because that’s how we make sure future generations of Montanans are healthy, strong, and stay out of the justice system. I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with local law enforcement officers who protect our kids and our communities every day, and I’ll keep fighting aggressively to defend Montana police and community leaders, and provide them with the resources they need to keep kids safe.”

Tester discussed Head Start, the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and Maternal Infant Early childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program with Fitch and Dutton, along with representatives of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, which advocates for policies that promote child education, health, and safety.

As a former elementary school teacher and school board member, and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester has been a longtime champion for Head Start and CCBDG programs in Montana. Tester pushed for increased Head Start funding and helped secure increases of $32 million for Head Start and $26 million for CCDBG in the Fiscal Year 2022 government funding process.

Tester is Montana’s leading champion for supporting law enforcement, ensuring national defense and increasing border security. He recently sponsored the Securing America’s Borders Against Fentanyl Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to develop technologies and strategies aimed at targeting and detecting illicit fentanyl before it can be trafficked into the United States. In 2021, Tester also introduced his bipartisan Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking Officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act which would help law enforcement combat drug trafficking by increasing resources for High Intensity Drug Task Forces (HIDTA), Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and Operation Stonegarden – programs that support law enforcement efforts to combat the drug epidemic and boost border security.