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Hare Votes to Make Illinois Communities Safer

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Location: Washington, DC

Hare Votes to Make Illinois Communities Safer

Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today voted in favor of the COPS Improvements Act of 2007—a bill to put 50,000 more police officers on our nation's streets—including an estimated 353 in the 17th Congressional District. This legislation comes as violent crime is on the rise nationwide, according to a recent law enforcement association study and new FBI statistics.

"Since 1994, 825 additional police officers and sheriff deputies have been hired in my district through the COPS program," Hare said. "A strong community policing program is essential to keeping our neighborhoods as safe as possible."

According to a Government Accountability Office study, between 1998 and 2000, COPS grants were responsible for reducing crimes by about 200,000—one third of which were violent.

Unfortunately, over the last few years, President Bush and Republicans in Congress have sharply reduced funding for COPS hiring grants—from more than $1 billion a year in the late 1990's to $198 million in 2003 and $10 million in 2005. Then, in 2006, Congress completely eliminated the program.

"I am proud that the new Democratic majority has made restoring COPS one of our top legislative priorities," Hare said. "Additional police officers can help Illinois communities reduce crime and better prepare for a natural disaster or terrorist attack."

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