BIDEN Amendment To Restore COPS Funding Passes Senate
Today, the Senate voted to fully restore funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. The amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution, sponsored by Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, increases the allocation for the COPS program by $599 million for a total funding amount of $1.15 billion. The President has slashed billions in funding for state and local law enforcement, and the President's 2009 budget proposes to eliminate the COPS program entirely.
The COPS program was first created as part of Sen. Biden's historic 1994 Crime Bill. This program helped reduce crime nationwide by funding over 118,000 community policing officers for local police agencies around the country.
"We know the COPS program works," said Sen. Biden, speaking from the floor of the Senate. "For the past 8 years, this administration has neglected state and local law enforcement and now, we've got a whole host of criminal problems on our hands. We know how to make America's communities safer - we need to make the commitment to fund trusted and tried programs that are effective, like COPS."
Over a dozen academic studies have found a statistical link between the COPS program and reduced crime. Last spring the Brookings Institution published a study showing that COPS is one of the most cost-effective options for fighting crime - estimating that for each $1.4 billion invested in the COPS program, society realizes a benefit of $6 billion to $12 billion.
Last year, 1.4 million Americans were victims of violent crime, more than 445,000 were robbed, and more than 17,000 were murdered. A recent poll published by the non-partisan Third Way indicates that 94 percent of Americans view crime as a "very serious" or "fairly serious" problem. Moreover, 69 percent of Americans feel that violent crime is a bigger threat to them than the possibility of a terrorist attack.
"The concerns of these Americans are serious and real. These numbers are simply too high. We need to renew our commitment and return to what works," said Sen. Biden.
Sen. Biden has been a leading advocate on a myriad of crime issues. Last October, he introduced the 2007 Biden Crime Bill, the most comprehensive anti-crime legislation in over a decade.