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Larson Supports House Bill to Provide Over 175 Police Officers for 1st District of CT

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Today, legislation supported by Congressman John B. Larson (CT-1) to put 50,000 more police officers on our nation's streets—including an estimated 178 new cops to fight crime and terrorism in Connecticut's 1st district—passed the United States House of Representatives. The legislation comes as a violent crime is on the rise nationwide, according to a recent law enforcement association study and new FBI statistics.

"While the Bush Administration in recent years has abandoned the successful C.O.P.S. program, crime has risen steadily across our nation," said Congressman Larson. "In recent years we have seen the rise in youth violence on the streets of Hartford. It is my hope with the flow of new police officers, school resource officers and other grant money that the 1st District would receive we will be able to curb the rise in violent crime in Connecticut."

The C.O.P.S. hiring program has been one of the most successful law enforcement programs in the nation's history. To date, the program has put over 416 additional police officers in Connecticut's 1st Congressional district since 1994. Funded at over $1 billion a year near the end of the Clinton administration, the hiring portion of C.O.P.S. has been zeroed out under President Bush.

The C.O.P.S. Improvement Act passed today by the House of Representatives will breathe new life into the C.O.P.S. program nationwide and in the 1st district of Connecticut:

* 416: The number of additional police officers that have been hired in the 1st district of Connecticut since 1994.
* 178: The projected number of additional police officers that will be put on the beat as a result of the C.O.P.S. Improvement Act.
* $26,683,851: The amount of money that has been invested in the 1st District of Connecticut since 1994 through the C.O.P.S Improvement Act.
* $8,140,836: The amount of money projected to flow into the 1st district of Connecticut as a result of the C.O.P.S. Improvement Act.
* 26: The number of additional school resource officers that have been hired for the 1st district of Connecticut.
* 11: The number of additional school resources officers that would be likely put in the 1st district of Connecticut as a result of the C.O.P.S. Improvement Act.

"Democrats want to ensure that our local law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to make our communities safer," added Larson. "This is step in the right direction, putting more cops on our streets and reinvesting in a program that has proven its worth and we know works."

Created in 1994 in an effort to put more police officers on the street, the C.O.P.S. Program has been enormously successful. Nationally, C.O.P.S. has provided over $9 billion to hire over 117,000 police officers. According to a General Accounting Office (GAO) study, between 1998 and 2000, C.O.P.S. grants were responsible for reducing crimes by about 200,000 to 225,000—one third of which were violent. This legislation has the backing of the International Association of Chiefs of Policy, the National Sheriff's Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National League of Cities.

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