Later today, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass the Fiscal Year 2013 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill, which includes $94 million in increased funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program secured by U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) and a bipartisan group of representatives.
After House passage, the bill will be sent to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.
"This is an important first step toward putting more police back on the streets of Trenton and other New Jersey communities," said Rep. Holt. "We still need the Senate to act, and ideally to provide even more funds. The need is dire and immediate."
Rep. Holt joined Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), Rep. Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) to lead a successful effort on the House floor on Tuesday evening to increase funding for the COPS program, which provides federal grants to state and local law enforcement organizations to put police on the beat.
Their amendment more than doubled the proposed Fiscal Year 2013 funding level, from $72 million to $166 million -- an increase of $94 million. It passed on a 206-204 vote.
In his remarks on the House floor in support of the amendment, Rep. Holt noted that, last fall, the city of Trenton was forced to lay off nearly a third of its uniformed officers. "My state's capital now has the same number of police on the rolls as it did in 1932," he said on Tuesday evening. "The Trenton Police Department has a COPS grant application pending with the COPS program office, which if approved would allow the city to hire back 18 officers."
He added: "Crime doesn't take a holiday. We need to fully fund the COPS program in order to beat back the rising tide of violent crime. This amendment is the first step in that process."