Pascrell, Biden Announce $4.2 Million for Passaic County Police Departments
Federal hiring grants will allow Paterson, Prospect Park to recruit 24 new officers
Washington, DC, November 18, 2021
Tags: Public Safety
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded $3,772,096 in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Grants to the City of Paterson and $500,000 to Prospect Park. These major federal grants will support the hiring of 20 new police officers in Paterson and four in Prospect Park.
President Biden made today’s grant announcement this morning as he was signing into law Rep. Pascrell’s Protecting America’s First Responders Act of 2021 (PAFRA), legislation that significantly improves DOJ’s Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) program, which provides financial assistance to first responders who die or are permanently disabled in the line of duty.
“Our brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. It is imperative that we support them at every turn, and that includes ensuring they have the resources they need to do their jobs,” said Rep. Pascrell, longtime Co-Chair the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus. “For years, COPS grants have enabled local law enforcement to better protect their communities through community policing initiatives that form vital bonds between officers and those they serve. With the essential federal funding we have secured today, Passaic County’s Finest will have the money they need to put 24 additional officers on our streets. This tremendous news for our communities comes as I joined President Biden as he signed my Protecting America’s First Responders Act into law. The Democratic Congress is firing on all cylinders to ensure our brave first responders have everything they need to continue their important work. May God bless our protectors.”
“We are committed to providing police departments with the resources needed to help ensure community safety and build community trust,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The grants we are announcing today will enable law enforcement agencies across the country to hire more than 1,000 additional officers to support vitally important community oriented policing programs.”
“Our goal has always been to exceed 400 officers here in Paterson and this grant helps get significantly closer to that number,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “Thank you to Congressman Pascrell for his never-ending fight to bring home federal dollars for Paterson.”
As co-chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus and Congressional Fire Services Caucus, Rep. Pascrell has made federal support for first responders a chief priority in Washington. Earlier today, he joined President Biden to celebrate the enactment of his Protecting America’s First Responders Act of 2021 (PAFRA), legislation that makes significant improvements to DOJ’s Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) program which provides first responders who die or are permanently disabled in the line of duty with a federal benefit of $370,000 and education assistance of $1,200 a month to their children or spouse.
Rep. Pascrell was also the principal sponsor of H.R. 2379, a congressional reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which was signed into law on May 24, 2019. Rep. Pascrell’s legislation permanently authorized $30,000,000 annually for the Bulletproof Vest Grant Program. Rep. Pascrell also authored the National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 1865), a law enacted last Congress, which led to the minting of coins in support of the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington.
In Congress, Rep. Pascrell has fought for years to fully fund the Byrne JAG program, the COPS Hiring program, and other key funding streams for state and local law enforcement. Earlier this year, he led a bipartisan group of 159 Members of Congress in support of robust funding for our federal policing grants.