WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart recently co-sponsored a bipartisan amendment to restore community policing funds.
The COPS amendment restores funding to the fiscal year 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill. Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS program, uses federal funding for municipal and county police departments to hire additional officers.
“Community police agencies are the backbone of our law enforcement system,” Enyart said. “They are the first responders to critical situations across the country, and they deserve to have appropriate funding for an adequate number of officers.”
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the amendment introduced by Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) and Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), co-chairs of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, along with Enyart and six other members of Congress.
Enyart’s amendment restored $110 million in funding for the COPS hiring grant program, designed to put more officers on the street. The full funding equals $180 million for the national program.
“Virtually every municipal police department and county sheriff’s department in Southern Illinois has benefited from this program at one time or another in its 20-year history,” Enyart said.
The amendment successfully passed by voice vote Wednesday, May 28, and has been added to the full Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, which was approved by a large margin in the U.S. House late Thursday, May 29.