Today Congresswoman Barbara Lee joined 80 members of Congress in sending a letter to Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi urging them to include robust supplemental funding for the Department of Justice's COPS Hiring Program in any deal to extend governments funding beyond the expiration of the current Continuing Resolution on March 27th.
"As many communities across nation have the lowest police staffing levels in recent years, the COPS Hiring Program provides a critical stop-gap for police departments still recovering from massive budget cuts and layoffs by providing funding to re-hire and hire new police officers in an effort to combat crime and violence," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. "In cities like Oakland where there are more than 200 fewer sworn officers on the streets than in 2009, this funding is especially critical."
The COPS Hiring Program is designed to advance public safety through community policing by addressing the full-time sworn officer needs of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies nationwide. This is particularly important as state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies embrace the challenges of keeping communities safe while maintaining sufficient sworn personnel levels.
These grants may be used on or after the official grant award start date to: (1) hire new officer positions; (2) rehire officers already laid off as a result of state, local, or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) budget reductions unrelated to the receipt of grant funding; or (3) rehire officers scheduled to be laid off on a specific future date as a result of state, local, or BIA budget reductions unrelated to the receipt of grant funding.