Pascrell Announces $1.5 Million for New COPS iIn Paterson
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J., 8th) announced today that the City of Paterson has been awarded funding for twenty new police officers through the federal Community Oriented Policing Service Universal Hiring Program. The grant allots $1,500,000 for the new officers in Paterson. The officers were awarded to engage in community policing and homeland security activities.
Pascrell worked to secure the grants, which are awarded through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The program provides up to 75 percent of the total cost of salary and benefits of each new officer over a period of three years, up to a maximum of $75,000 per officer. Funding will begin once the new officers have been hired. The Universal Hiring Program was designed to increase the number of officers on the beat. A minimum 25 percent local match is required by the program.
"Community policing has proven to be so effective in driving down crime in both our cities and our suburbs, and bringing these new officers to Paterson will go a long way toward making our streets safer," stated Pascrell. "Helping to deliver these dollars to put more cops on the street, without burdening the local taxpayer with the bill, has been a top priority for me."
The grant is a sorely needed to boast manpower in the Paterson Police Department, as the Department has lost nearly 90 officers in the past year due to retirements, officer departures to other municipalities, and budgetary cutbacks.
Since 1995, COPS has helped nearly 13,000 law enforcement agencies make their
communities safer by funding the hiring of more than 118,000 officers. In addition to helping
local law enforcement agencies expand their ranks, the COPS Office has been a catalyst for
innovations in community policing. Statistics indicate that departments that employ
community policing serve 86 percent of American communities.
In his Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Blueprint, President Bush eliminated all funding for the COPS program. Fortunately, congressional appropriators from both sides of the aisle strongly disagreed and authorized the program at $928 million. In his Fiscal Year 2004 budget, the President has requested only $158 million for the COPS program, an 83 percent cut.
Pascrell has long been a supporter of the COPS program, stating at a June press conference supporting the program, "I cannot believe the President has tried, on numerous occasions, to gut this highly successful program. I hear the White House constantly tout its homeland security record, well Mr. President, cops in our communities are the foundation of homeland security."
Pascrell has announced over $12 million dollars in COPS grants in the 8th Congressional District since 1997.