Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), along with 11 of his colleagues today, introduced the bipartisan Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022 to increase compensation and hiring of law enforcement officers.
The legislation reauthorizes the COPS on the Beat Grant Program for the next 10 years, expands access to COPS Grants to rural communities, allows for COPS grants to be used to increase wages for officers in low-income communities, and creates a stand-alone COPS office within the U.S. Department of Justice.
The COPS on the Beat Grant Program was previously appropriated $386 million in FY21. This legislation increases the authorization to $1,047,119,000 in FY22.
This legislation also requires the U.S. Government Accountability Office to file a report at the mid-point of the program and the conclusion to determine:
- How representative law enforcement agencies are of their communities;
- The percentage that lives in the jurisdiction served;
- Average pay compared to cost of living of jurisdiction; and
- Legislative and administrative recommendations for improving these data points
“Our rural communities deserve high quality law enforcement programs, just like our urban neighborhoods. That means proper training, fair wages, and efficient numbers of personnel. Especially down near the border, my district is always looking to improve safety for the benefit of our constituents,” said Congressman Cuellar.“As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to ensure that our men and women in blue have the necessary resources to protect our communities.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Tom Rice (R-SC), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Jared Golden (D-ME), John Katko (R-NY), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Burgess Owens (R-UT), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Young Kim (R-CA) and Ron Kind (D-WI).
About the COPS Office:
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation's state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.
Community policing begins with a commitment to building trust and mutual respect between police and communities. It is critical to public safety, ensuring that all stakeholders work together to address our nation's crime challenges. When police and communities collaborate, they more effectively address underlying issues, change negative behavioral patterns, and allocate resources.
The COPS Office awards grants to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.