UTICA, N.Y. – Congressman Anthony Brindisi, D-22, is pushing for an increase in federal funding for law enforcement across the nation through the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program.
In 2020, $350 million was designated to 596 agencies to hire more than 2,700 police officers throughout the United States. Brindisi is pushing to double the amount, and distribute $700 million to departments for recruitment, hiring and training.
With the coronavirus pandemic depleting several local budgets, Brindisi is looking to the government for assistance to provide resources that will better protect communities.
“COVID-19 has decimated local budgets in my district and in districts across the country, retirements in police departments also loom and filling those positions will require dollars. Even more, many communities are now conceiving what their own departments will look like in the future, and we have to help them fund that process,” said Brindisi.
Brindisi plans to add an amendment to the upcoming House Continuing Resolution bill, that includes increasing COPS program funding.
Utica was awarded more than $400,000 through the program to hire new beat officers in 2009.
Highlights of the COPS program include:
- Funding as many positions as possible for successful applicants.
- Providing 75 percent of the approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits of each newly hired and/or rehired full-time officer, up to $125,000 per officer position, over the three year (36 month) grant period.
- Requiring applicants to identify specific crimes, problems or focus areas (like community policing) and explain how CHP funding will be used to implement those community-policing approaches to that problem/focus area.
In response to Brindisi's push for police funding, his opponent Claudia Tenney said, in part:
“Our police need action, not phony promises. The Brindisi-Pelosi agenda is anti-police, plain and simple. In Congress, I will defend our brave men and women of law enforcement and ensure our police have all the resources and tools they need to protect and serve because I actually 'Back the Blue.' I am grateful for the support of law enforcement across the district including Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood and the New York State Troopers PBA."