Weiner Bill To Fund ‘Terrorism Cops’
Congress is set to pass legislation authored by Representative Anthony Weiner, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittees on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, that would reauthorize the Community Oriented Policing Services (C.O.P.S.) program for the first time since 2000.
The new and improved program will finally allow New York City to use the C.O.P.S. funding to pay for “terrorism police.”
To date, New York City has been prohibited from using any of the Homeland Security funding it receives from Washington to pay the salaries of local law enforcement officers doing what should be considered federal functions- including guarding against terrorism and collecting intelligence data. A provision Weiner added into the reauthorization bill will allow the NYPD to use C.O.P.S. funding to pay the salaries of just that type of officer.
The New Weiner C.O.P.S. Program includes:
-Authorization for over $1 billion per year for four years (2006-2009), for a total of $4 billion.
- An estimated $280 million will be authorized for New York City alone, and the funding will provide an additional 3,640 NYPD officers.
- For the first time, police agencies can use money to fund “t-cops” or “terrorism cops”- police officers that specialize in thwarting terrorism. The previous program only allowed local offices to hire officers patrolling the beat.
-Each local law enforcement office now has additional flexibility to select how they wish to spend the money. Some may choose to fund additional personnel and others may purchase new equipment, such as radios, computers, etc.
Since its inception as part of the 1994 Clinton Crime Bill, the C.O.P.S. program has put 7,404 new police officers on the beat in New York City and over 118,000 cops in more than 12,000 communities nationwide. The program was not reauthorized when it expired in 2000.
“This legislation will allow us to put thousands of more police on the streets of New York City to fight crime and maintain our quality of life,” said Weiner. “Republicans have waged a war against the C.O.P.S. program for years, and have repeatedly erected barriers that would allow New York to use homeland security funding to pay for the salaries of police officers devoted to homeland security.”