Reichert Statement on DOJ COPS Hiring Program Funding

Nov 21, 2017 Issues: Law Enforcement Caucus

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that $98 million in grants will be awarded to 179 law enforcement agencies across the country through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. In response, Congressman Dave Reichert, a law enforcement veteran of 33 years, released the following statement about the COPS Hiring Program - a program he has consistently championed and fought to protect from elimination throughout his career.

“I am proud that today law enforcement agencies across the country will find out they can now hire the officers they need through the COPS Hiring Program,” Rep. Reichert said. “I know firsthand how important community policing is to reducing crime, improving quality of life, keeping officers safe, and maintaining relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. These community oriented policing grants are essential to bridging the ever widening gap between police officers and their communities."

"This is why I have fought to fund this program and keep it focused on supporting the cops on the street and not on local immigration politics. Grant standards based on federal immigration policies ultimately punish cops by withholding federal grant money in an effort to force local governments to change immigration policies. Through this grant funding, law enforcement departments across the country will be able to hire new personnel to assist with the ever-increasing work load these officers face. It is essential that we continue to provide our law enforcement officers and first responders with the resources they need to continue protecting our communities and keeping our families safe.”

To learn more about the COPS Hiring Program, see the Attorney General’s release here.

Rep. Reichert has fought continuously throughout his career for funding of the COPS Hiring Program to ensure it is regularly protected and strengthened. This program is often times targeted for elimination or funding cuts during the appropriations process. As co-chair of the Law Enforcement Caucus, Rep. Reichert, along with his co-chair, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), sent a bipartisan letter to President Trump outlining the importance of the COPS Hiring Program.

Rep. Reichert and Rep. Pascrell also sent a bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Committee this year encouraging them to include funding for the COPS Hiring Program. Over 180 other Members of Congress signed this letter as well in support of the program.

In September 2017, Rep. Reichert secured funding for the COPS Hiring Program on the House floor from Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS) Chairman John Culberson (R-TX) for Fiscal Year 2018. Chairman Culberson committed to securing this funding. Prior to the Congressman’s efforts, funding for the program had been completely eliminated.

In relation, Rep. Reichert has also championed the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, a federal grant program to combat gang violence and gun-related crimes. In September, the House passed his amendment to increase funding for this program to $20 million for fiscal year 2018.