April 27, 2018

Feinstein, Klobuchar, Murkowski, Tillis, Coons, Graham Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Maintain Critical Support for Local Law Enforcement

Washington - Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced the COPS Reauthorization Act to maintain critical support for local law enforcement. The bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program through fiscal year 2023. The COPS program awards grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States so they can hire new officers and provide needed training and technical assistance to community leaders and local law enforcement at all levels.

“The Community Oriented Policing Services program has yielded significant returns on investment. In California, COPS grant funding has been used to fund programs for at-risk youth, allowed for hiring police officers, and in certain neighborhoods, helped bring about a 50 percent reduction in violent crime and arrests. I am proud to support reauthorizing this important program that helps keep our communities safe,” Senator Feinstein said.

“As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen firsthand the difference that the COPS program can make in reducing crime and keeping our communities safe,” Senator Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan legislation would ensure this program is supported so local police departments can hire and provide needed training to law enforcement officers.”

“The community oriented policing program has been a godsend to communities across the nation that have struggled to hire and retain law enforcement officers when local budgets are stretched. With the opioid crisis once again stretching the capabilities of local law enforcement in every corner of the country the need for this program has never been greater,” Senator Murkowski said. “I am proud to join with Senator Klobuchar and our law enforcement partners as the lead cosponsor in continuing this crucial public safety.”

“The Community Oriented Policing Services program plays a vital role in assisting our states and local law enforcement agencies by providing additional officers and training,” Senator Tillis said“This bipartisan legislation will help provide necessary support for these critical agencies that protect us and keep our communities safe.”

“The COPS program helps keep our communities safe by creating partnerships among all levels of law enforcement and strengthening our local police departments. In the past two years alone, this program has supported the hiring of twenty-one new officers in Delaware communities like Cheswold, Delmar, Laurel, Ocean View, Smyrna, and Wilmington. This is the type of program that makes a real difference in our communities, and I am proud to support it,” Senator Coons said.

“Along with effective deterrence, community policing is a critical tool in our criminal justice system that builds trust between law enforcement and communities.  I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to ensure that community policing programs are funded in South Carolina and across the country,” Senator Graham said.

The legislation is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants Benevolent Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Major County Sheriffs Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association and National Sheriffs Association.

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