Cuellar votes to protect COPS Hiring Program
Ensures 22 police officers with the Laredo Police Dept. remain on patrol
“We must continue to provide our local law enforcement agencies in Texas with the resources they need to hire highly trained and qualified police officers and personnel that can protect our children, young and elderly while providing families in the 28th District of Texas peace of mind,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I supported the amendment to protect the COPS Hiring program because it makes the City of Laredo and cities around the nation safer places for people to live, work and visit.”
Late last week, Congressman Cuellar voted to restore the funding to the COPS Program after it was stripped from the Continuing Resolution.
The COPS Hiring program (CHP) is a competitive grant program that provides funding directly to state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide to hire or rehire full-time sworn officers to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.
CHP grants provide 100 percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits for three years (36 months) for newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions, or for rehired officers who have been laid off or are scheduled to be laid off on a future date as a result of local budget cuts.
Although Congressman Cuellar stood to ensure the COPS Hiring Program was not eliminated in the Continuing Resolution, the overall COPS Program was cut by $203 million.
The areas of the COPS Program that could be affected by the cuts are the:
--Technology Program, a targeted program that provides direct funding for the continued development of technologies and automated systems to assist in investigating, responding to, and preventing crime;
--Methamphetamine Initiative, a targeted funding initiative that provides direct funding to establish and enhance a variety of problem-solving strategies that will encourage community policing efforts that combat the use and distribution of methamphetamine;
--Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation, provides American Indian and Alaska Native communities to enhance law enforcement, bolster justice systems, prevent youth substance abuse, address violence against women, serve crime victims, and support other efforts to combat crime;
--Community Policing Development, provides over $7 million directly to the law enforcement field to develop innovative strategies that advance the practice of community policing;
The nine programmatic priority focus areas are:
· Role of Law Enforcement in Homeland Security
· Recruitment and Hiring
· Offender Re-Entry and Alternatives to Incarceration
· Ethics and Integrity
· Urban Violence
· Children Exposed to Violence
· School Based Policing
· Tribal Policing
--Child Sexual Predator Program, this funding allows recipients the opportunity to establish and/or enhance strategies to locate, arrest, and prosecute child sexual predators and exploiters and to enforce state sex offender registration laws;
--Secure Our Schools Program, this funding will allow recipients the opportunity to establish and enhance a variety of school safety equipment and/or programs to encourage the continuation and enhancement of school safety efforts meant to prevent school violence within their communities;
--Tribal Meth, this program will fund tribes for up to $200,000 to develop or support enhanced tribal-level coordination, and establish and implement tribe-specific action plans to address the health and safety issues of methamphetamine in Indian Country; and
--Safe Schools Initiative, COPS Safe Schools Initiative grants provide funding to state and local agencies to assist in delinquency prevention, community planning and development, school safety resources, and technology development. This funding will allow recipients the opportunity to establish and enhance a variety of school and community safety equipment and/or programs to encourage the continuation and enhancement of child welfare efforts within their communities.