Upon receiving confirmation that New York City did not receive any funding from the Community Oriented Policy Services (COPS) program, which was funded in the Stimulus, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens & Brooklyn), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement:
"I'm outraged New York City has not been awarded any funding through the COPS program funded by the Stimulus. I've been in contact with the Justice Department and will demand a thorough explanation of why New York City and three other cities have been left out in the cold.
"It is disturbing that the largest City in the County will not get this vital funding to keep our crime levels down. My colleagues and I will fight to ensure that our city streets our protected through the COPS program. New York City should not be penalized for effectively fighting crime during these tough economic times."
Rep. Weiner is a long-time champion of the COPS program, sponsoring its reauthorization each Congress for the last three years. The House recently passed Weiner's COPS bill which would add 50,000 new beat cops to streets over the next 5 years.
Created in 1994 by President Clinton, the COPS program provides localities with a 3-year federal grant for the specific purpose of hiring new police officers. Localities are required to pick up 25% of the cost of the new hire each year and to keep the officer on staff for an additional year. Grants have provided localities with $9 billion since 1994 to hire 117,000 police officers nationwide, including nearly 7,000 in New York City.
The program has been enormously successful. Between 1998 and 2000, COPS hiring grants were responsible for reducing crimes by about 200,000 to 225,000 crimes - one third of which were violent, according to a 2005 Government Accountability Office report.