Rep. Tierney Calls for More Funding for COPS Program President’s FY07 Budget Severely Cuts Funding for COPS
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Congressman John F. Tierney (D-Salem) today said that President Bush is ignoring the interests of local communities by drastically cutting funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program in his budget for Fiscal Year 2007.
In January, President Bush signed into law the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-162), which called for over $1 billion in funding for the COPS program for each year until 2009. Unfortunately, the President’s budget did not live up to this commitment and instead allocated only $272 million in actual spending for the COPS program, which is a 30% cut from last year and far below the already-approved $1 billion funding level.
“The COPS program provides funds for state and local law enforcement agencies to hire and train professionals, acquire and deploy cutting-edge crime-fighting technologies, and develop and test innovative policing strategies. The President’s budget cuts leave local cities and towns without critical funds for protecting our families,” said Congressman Tierney.
“Since the COPS program began in 1994, more than $33 million in COPS grants have been awarded to law enforcement agencies in my district, including funding for 435 additional police officers and sheriffs’ deputies to engage in community policing activities and 25 school resource officers to improve safety for students, teachers and administrators in primary and secondary schools,” explained Congressman Tierney.
“The COPS program has also awarded more than $2 million for crime-fighting technologies that allow officers to spend more time on the streets fighting and preventing crime through timesaving technology, information-sharing systems, and improved communications equipment,” added Congressman Tierney.
Earlier this year, Congressman Tierney spearheaded a bipartisan effort to call on President Bush to fully fund the COPS program at the already approved $1 billion funding level. Over 110 Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives joined Congressman Tierney’s effort and signed the letter to the President.
“The budget should be a reflection of our nation’s values. Regrettably, the President is trying to cut funds for COPS and prioritize extending tax cuts for the wealthiest among us at the expense of investing in programs, such as COPS, that protect our children, families, and communities,” noted Tierney.
“As the House and Senate are now set to consider the President’s budget, I am working hard to reinstate funds for this important program,” said Congressman Tierney.