Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek joined more than 1,000 police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday to highlight the importance of early childhood education as a way to reduce crime.

The law enforcement leaders voiced their support for a proposed state-federal early childhood education partnership that aims to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated nationwide by 200,000 every year and lead to $75 billionincost savings over 10 years.

“If we value the lives of children in our community, then making the investment in pre-K is critical,” said Stanek, a former GOP member of the Minnesota House and state public safety commissioner. “Investing in early childhood education makes good economic sense as opposed to much higher expenses for time spent in the Hennepin County jail or other institutions in the future.”

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