Reichert, Pascrell Protect Funding for COPS

Washington, D.C. – Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed an amendment introduced by U.S. Congressmen Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), co-chairs of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, along with Reps. King, DeFazio, Grimm, Welch, Reed, Enyart and Johnson.  The amendment, which would protect funding for the highly successful Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program and allow the hiring of almost 1000 additional police officers, was included in the Fiscal Year 2015 Appropriations Bill for Commerce Justice and Science (CJS).

“Our local law enforcement is this nation’s first line of defense,” said Reichert.  “When our country is threatened, they are first on the scene and the first to offer protection.  We cannot leave them ill prepared or ill equipped, and the COPS program makes sure that they have the funding and personnel to adequately address all safety concerns. Ensuring adequate funding for them is but a simple way to say thank you to the men and women who serve to protect us every day and to support them in their efforts.”

"As local police departments face increasing budget constraints, we need to ensure the safety of our communities does not suffer and our first responders have every resource available to them," said Pascrell. "Despite its importance to our communities, the COPS program has been a frequent target for cuts.  This is why I'll continue to fight to ensure this program is well-funded so it can remain a cornerstone of the federal government’s efforts to assist state and local law enforcement."

The COPS Office and its corresponding programs provide invaluable resources and technical assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to keep our communities safe.  Since its inception, the COPS office has placed over 127,000 sworn law enforcement officers in communities across the country by providing grants for the hiring of officers. These grants are critical for communities with public safety needs that may lack the resources to hire the officers they need to protect their citizens.

This amendment would restore $110 million to the COPS funding in order to maintain current year's level of funding and avoid a proposed 60% cut.