WASHINGTON – A program to provide nearly $200 million to hire and retain police officers around the country will be signed into law by President Obama today, according to a New Jersey senator.
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) said that the Community Oriented Policing Services Program will provide $198 million, with $166 million of that as grants for hiring and retention.
“Police officers shouldn’t be on the unemployment lines, they should be in our communities, and the COPS program will keep them there,” Lautenberg said in a release.
The COPS program had been jeopardized during the budget negotiations.
“As so many communities are struggling with budget cuts that hurt local police departments, this funding is especially important to keep police on the beat in our neighborhoods,” Lautenberg said.
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, according to Lautenberg, who said that New Jersey has received more than $400 million since the program’s inception, which has funded more than 5,000 officers.