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Lautenberg Leads Push to Fund Federal COPS Hiring Program to Keep Local Police on the Beat
Senator Also Joins Effort to Boost Law Enforcement JAG Grants
Lautenberg Press Office, 202-224-3224
Monday, June 27,
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) is leading a Senate effort to provide $600 million in funding for the federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program to help communities hire local police officers. Lautenberg has also joined in an effort to fund the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program to help local law enforcement purchase technology, equipment and training for crime fighting initiatives.
“Budget cuts at the state and municipal levels are taking police off the beat and leaving New Jersey communities vulnerable to crime,” stated Lautenberg. “Police officers shouldn’t be on unemployment lines, they should be in our communities – and the COPS grants program will help keep police on our streets. The COPS and Byrne JAG grant programs offer critical federal support for New Jersey law enforcement departments to hire officers and purchase crime fighting equipment. These programs were cut last year by House Republicans and I am committed to fighting in the Senate to make sure our police departments are adequately staffed and equipped to stop violence and prevent crime.”
The COPS grant program provides federal resources so that law enforcement agencies can hire officers, acquire new technologies and equipment, and promote innovative approaches to solving crime. Across the country, the program has put more than 120,000 police officers on the beat since 1995. New Jersey has received more than $400 million since the program’s inception, which has funded nearly 5,000 officers. House Republicans slashed funding for this program by nearly 40% in the 2011 budget, and Sen. Lautenberg is working to restore funding for the coming year.
The Byrne JAG program is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. In Fiscal Year 2010, the State of New Jersey received $7.2 million in federal funding through the program. The State sub-awarded $5.7 million of this funding to 17 New Jersey cities facing high levels of violent crimes. In addition, 18 local jurisdictions received a total of $3.4 million in JAG grants directly from the federal government, including $806,344 for Newark, $378,820 for Camden, $180,086 for Atlantic City, $362,938 for the City of Passaic, $552,371 for Hudson County, $216,576 for Mercer County, and $308,957 for Union County. Awards for FY 2011 have not been announced yet.
The letters were sent to Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, which allocates funding for the Byrne JAG and COPS programs. A copy of the COPS letter can be found here and the Byrne JAG letter can be found here.
Senator Lautenberg led the effort on the COPS funding letter, along with Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Joining them on the letter were Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Max Baucus (D-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jim Webb (D-VA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The Byrne JAG funding letter was signed by Sens. Lautenberg, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), James Inhofe (R-OK), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jim Webb (D-VA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
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