2004-10-15 / Community

Weiner: Save COPS Program

In an urgent effort to continue the Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) program, which has been responsible for hiring over 118,000 cops nationwide, Congressman Anthony Weiner and 217 of his colleagues have introduced legislation to reauthorize the program that has been all but eliminated by the Bush Administration.

The COPS program was created in 1994 to put more police officers on the streets, and the program has been enormously successful. Nationally, COPS has provided $9 billion to hire over 118,000 police.  In New York City alone, COPS has provided more than $600 million to hire more than 7,000 police officers.

However, this year, as he has done every year, President Bush has proposed eliminating the hiring component of the COPS program.  As a result, New York City’s share of COPS funding has fallen from $141 million in 2000 to $4.8 million last year.

Today, Weiner, joined by 217 cosponsors, including every Democrat in the House, introduced legislation to reauthorize COPS.  The bill provides:

$600 million to hire community police officers .  Enough funding to hire up to 50,000 more cops over six years nationwide, including an estimated 3,500 for New York City.  

Cities and states can also use this funding to retain current officers hired under the COPS program, pay overtime, and reimburse current officers for college or graduate school.

$350 million for crime fighting technology.  Includes better communications systems, DNA analysis, and computer models to map crime hotspots. 

$200 million for community prosecutors .  Places prosecutors in the communities they serve, to expand the community policing concept to engage the whole community in preventing and fighting crime.   

“COPS isn’t political or partisan, it’s just the single most effective crime fighting program in our nation’s history,” said Weiner.  “It puts police officers just where they’re needed most, and it gives them the tools they need to do their jobs well.”

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