MARKEY VOTES TO PUT 250 MORE COPS ON THE STREETS OF THE 7TH DISTRICT
Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), today joined a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 1700, the COPS Reauthorization Act. This measure is designed to help local law enforcement agencies to hire an additional 50,000 police officers on the beat over the next six years while authorizing $350 million annually for crime fighting technology upgrades and $200 million annually to hire additional prosecutors.
Rep. Markey said, "The COPS hiring grants program, created under the Clinton Administration in 1994, was an enormously successful, popular program. From 1995 to 2005, this program helped local law enforcement agencies to hire 117,000 additional police officers, including almost 600 additional officers in my district, which helped to significantly reduce crime across the country."
"But, like a patient that stops taking the medication once it starts working, the Bush Administration's repeated efforts to gut this program are the equivalent of taking a step backwards in the face of success. Again this year, the president proposed cutting more than 94% of the funding COPS hiring grants received last year, which was already less than the program needed."
Under President Bush, the Republican-led Congress sharply reduced the funding for COPS hiring grants over the last few years - reducing funding from more than $1 billion a year in the late 1990s to $198 million in 2003 and $10 million in 2005. Then, in 2006, the Republican-led Congress completely eliminated the program.
"On top of cutting the COPS to the bone, the President is handing the program a bill for funds unspent' that is more than twice as much as he proposes giving the program next year. The result is negative funding for community policing at a time when Department of Justice estimates are showing a rise in crime," Markey added.
Under the COPS program, the United States experienced a significant drop in crime rates - and independent studies confirm that these grants played a significant role. A nonpartisan GAO study concluded, "COPS-funded increases in sworn officers per capita were associated with declines in rates of total index crimes, violent crimes, and property crime." According to the study, between 1998 and 2000, the hiring grants were responsible for reducing crimes by about 200,000 to 225,000 crimes - one third of which were violent.
Since 1994, the C.O.P.S. program has helped law enforcement in Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District to put 593 cops on the beat. With passage of the C.O.P.S. Improvement Act, an additional 253 officers will likely be hired over the course of the next six years.
Since 1994, C.O.P.S. has invested $50,888,514 in the 7th District. With passage of the C.O.P.S. Improvement Act, the 7th District will likely receive an additional $15,525,309 over the course of the next six years.
Since 1994, the C.O.P.S. program has enabled law enforcement agencies to hire 20 more school resource officers, who keep our children safe at school, in the 7th District. With passage of the C.O.P.S. Improvement Act, an additional 9 school resource officers will likely be hired over the course of the next six years.
Since 1994, the C.O.P.S. program has sent , $5,170,534 to the 7th District to purchase technology and training that helps cops get out from behind their desks so they can patrol a beat. With passage of the C.O.P.S. Improvement Act, an additional $1,577,451 will likely be sent to 7th District.
Rep. Markey concluded, "I am proud to vote today to reinvigorate the COPS hiring grants program and to once again give our local law enforcement agencies the tools they need to fight crime and help us bring crime rates back down. This vote is a strong message to President that the C.O.P.S. program is here to stay."
This legislation has been endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National League of Cities.