From: The Honorable Marcy Kaptur
Sent By:
jenny.perrino@mail.house.gov

Date: 10/31/2016

Support COPS Hiring Program in FY17

Deadline: Nov. 8, 2016

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in supporting our Fiscal Year (FY) 17 funding of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP) to, at a minimum, match the FY16 enacted level of $187 million.

The FY16 funding of $187 million allowed for awards that created or in some cases protected more than 900 law enforcement positions nationwide. The current level reported out of the House Appropriations Committee completely eliminates CHP funding. This request
is vitally important to maintain support for officer positions and also the variety of resource products and publications CHP produces on training and technical assistance

Community policing recognizes that law enforcement must work with the communities to solve public safety concerns together. Since 1994, the CHP has advanced public safety by assisting community policing needs of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies
nationwide. CHP funds are used directly by law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire career law enforcement officers and to increase community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

For many of our communities, ongoing local budget constraints have stretched personnel beyond breaking points, resulting in higher rates of turnover and less skilled police on patrol.  Each of these factors exacerbate tensions and increase the need and positive
impact community-oriented policing services have within communities.  To date, the COPS Office has funded more than 129,000 officers to more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies in small and large jurisdictions across the country.

We urge you to support the needs of your own local law enforcement agency by signing the attached letter encouraging consistent funding for FY17 CHP. If you have any questions or would like to sign on, please contact Liz Lee in Rep. Barbara Lee’s office
at Liz.Lee@mail.house.gov or 5-2661 or Jenny Perrino in Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s office at
Jenny.Perrino@mail.house.gov or 5-4146.

Sincerely,

Barbara Lee

Member of Congress

Marcy Kaptur

Member of Congress

Wm. Lacy Clay

Member of Congress

_____________________________________________

The Honorable Hal Rogers

Chairman, Committee on Appropriations

H-305, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Nita Lowey

Ranking Member, Committee on Appropriations

1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey:

As you and your Senate counterparts finalize a Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 spending package, we write to request funding for the Community Oriented Policing Hiring Program (CHP), matching at least FY16 enacted levels of $187 million.

We understand that the Committee reported out a modest increase of $87 million for the entire Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) account. However, this increase would only fund programs that were previously funded through other accounts, while funding
for the COPS Hiring Program (CHP) was completely eliminated. Meanwhile, ongoing local budget constraints across the country have stretched personnel beyond breaking points. This has resulted in high rates of turnover and less skilled police on patrol, exacerbating
tension between police and the communities they serve, and increasing the need for community-oriented policing services.

Since 1994, the Department of Justice has embraced community-oriented policing as a means to improve these relations. Studies consistently find that community-policing strategies like those supported by the Department’s COPS Hiring Program have a positive
effect on citizen satisfaction and trust in law enforcement. Although a comprehensive examination of whether federal resources across agencies are appropriately allocated for local law enforcement is in order, the diverse use of CHP grants, without question,
provide vital assistance to local forces.

CHP grants support initiatives that range from hiring additional officers, incorporating increased diversity in hiring, and hiring deputies especially trained to run programs in partnership with community groups that reduce recidivism.  While the most common
problem that FY16 grant recipients plan to use CHPs to address is “community engagement,” we are supportive of DOJ’s initiative to help increase diversity within police departments.

From 1998 to 2015, COPS funding dropped 87 percent. Let’s not continue this trend. We are hopeful that funding for community-oriented policing services will help officers establish meaningful relationships with the people they serve, during these times when
community relations are especially strained.

Empirical research has shown that more effective police techniques, such as those implemented through community policing programs, can and have reduced crime while also improving relations between officers and communities. Recent incidents across the country
show the urgent and critical need for supporting community policing programs like CHP. We must all work to mend the strained relationship and broken trust between those who serve and those they swear to protect.

While we understand the difficult funding challenges for FY17, we urge you to fund the COPS Hiring Program at no less than $187 million. Providing much needed police hiring resources to communities of all sizes will allow officers to better protect families
across America as they improve and develop meaningful relationships with the communities they serve.

Thank you for your consideration of this important request.

Sincerely,