Pascrell Disappointed President Trump Turns Back on Law Enforcement
PATERSON, N.J. – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement on the Fiscal Year 2019 budget to eliminate the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and nearly 50 percent cut to the COPS Hiring Program:
“Eliminating the COPS Office and slashing funding for the COPS Hiring Program grants in half is an odd way for President Trump to show support for the brave men and women in blue who rely on the office and grants to keep our neighborhoods safe,” Rep. Pascrell said. “Thankfully I know there is little appetite for these cuts in the House of Representatives because 135 members signed a letter I led with Rep. Dave Reichert to highlight the importance of keeping the COPS Office independent and the programs they administer funded. I will fight these cuts tooth and nail to ensure they do not happen.”
The letter led by Rep. Pascrell to President Trump, which was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, National Sheriffs Association, Major County Sheriffs' Association, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, can be viewed here.
Last year, Reps. Pascrell and Reichert, co-chairs of the House Law Enforcement Caucus, sent a letter to President Trump outlining the importance of the COPS Office. The letter highlighted the critical role the COPS Office serves to support the law enforcement community and improving community policing efforts across the country to keep neighborhoods safe. The letter also raised concerns about any legislative or budget proposals that would jeopardize the work of the COPS Office.
COPS Office Background
Since its inception, the COPS Office has placed more than 130,000 sworn law enforcement officers in communities across the country by providing grants for the hiring of officers through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. These grants provide federal resources to communities with public safety needs that may lack the funds to hire law enforcement officers. Additionally, the COPS Office is responsible for implementing legislation authored and co-sponsored by Reps. Pascrell and Reichert. Specifically, the COPS Office oversees implementation the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act (Public Law: 114-12), which establishes a nationwide Blue Alert communications system to help disseminate information on serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, an officer who is missing in connection with the officer's official duties, or an imminent and credible threat that an individual intends to cause the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer. Finally, the COPS Office is responsible for overseeing implementation of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (Public Law: 115-113), which allows the COPS Office to make grants available to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs and develop training to meet law enforcement mental health needs.