Matheson: COPS Bill Boosts Safety in Utah Communities
Congressman Jim Matheson today joined the overwhelming bipartisan support for legislation reauthorizing the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program -HR 1700. Matheson is a cosponsor of the bill.
Congress created the COPS program as part of a major anti-crime law in 1994. Administered by the U.S. Justice Department, the COPS program awards grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire and train officers, implement new technology and develop new policing techniques.
"This is a program that helps put more police officers on our streets and gives them the tools they need to combat crime," said Matheson. "Since 1994, 551 additional police officers and/or sheriff's deputies have been hired in Utah's 2nd Congressional District through COPS."
Matheson said community policing focuses on law enforcement strategies that seek community partnerships to identify the cause of crime and places the emphasis on crime prevention. Matheson said Utah's crime-fighting community has given him numerous examples of how the COPS program helped decrease crime in local areas.
Since 1994, Matheson said more than $45 million in COPS grants have been awarded to law enforcement agencies in Utah's 2nd District. It has also funded 28 school resource officers.
"Today, state and local law enforcement assume more duties-like anti-terrorism efforts-while dealing with shrinking budgets. It's important to their safety, and to public safety that we give them this support," said Matheson.