REP. ANDREWS ADDRESSES NJ FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE
April 1, 2005
COPS PROGRAM SHOULD BE REAUTHORIZED TO AID LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WITH "COMMUNITY POLICING" EFFORTS TO REDUCE CRIME, MAKE TOWNS SAFER
To ensure that our nation's law enforcement officers possess the necessary tools to reduce crime and make South Jersey safer, I recently met with the members of the NJ Fraternal Order of Police to address their concerns about the President's budget for Fiscal Year 2006 which proposes to phase out one of the essential tools for law enforcement agencies in South Jersey, the COPS Program, the Community Oriented Policing Services Program. Under the President's budget, the Cops Program is presently in danger of being rolled back. Now more than ever, our law enforcement agencies need this essential funding for the hiring of additional officers to combat crime and to address homeland security issues have placed strains on our existing forces.
Although the House of Representatives approved funding for equipment under the COPS programs last month, there was no funding allocated for the hiring of additional officers for community policing and for school resource officers. Because I believe that COPS is invaluable program for reducing crime and establishing community relations, I am urging my colleagues in the Senate to include funding for the hiring of new law enforcement officers to make our nation's towns and cities safe and secure.
The Cops Program has been truly beneficial to communities in South Jersey because it directly grants funding to our cities and boroughs for the salary and benefits for new entry level officers. Over the past 10 years, the COPS program, which was initiated under President Clinton's administration, added more than 100,000 police officers to local police forces and helped to reduce crime rates through its "community policing" efforts in America's neighborhoods.
As the President's budget proposes to eliminate this effective program for our law enforcement agencies, I remain committed to insuring that Congress affords our police officers with the critical equipment, training, and funding to hire new officers which are vital mechanisms for reducing crime and keeping America's neighborhoods safe.