U.S. House Cuts Local Community Policing Funding

In a mark-up of a fiscal 2018 appropriations bill released yesterday, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee proposes cutting funding to the U.S. Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, which provides grants to local governments for officer hiring and community policing. Charles County and the City of Salisbury received grants under the program in 2016.

From Route Fifty:

COPS hiring grants provide money to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire officers that can assist with community policing activities. Community policing is generally geared toward building trust and collaboration between police and the places they serve.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the current president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, made a case this week for the hiring grants, and other COPS initiatives slated for cuts, in a letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee.

The letter said that the hiring grants had helped 13,000 state, local and tribal agencies hire and redeploy roughly 129,000 law enforcement officers.

Landrieu asks that the bill be amended so that the funding for the COPS Office and its programs at least matches the levels in Trump’s budget proposal.

The President’s budget included $207 million in funding for the program. It received $194 million in the budget for the current fiscal year.