York, PA – Today at York City Hall, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the Administration to increase funding levels for federal programs that aid local law enforcement.
Senator Casey today wrote to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) asking for increases in funding for three essential programs: Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program, Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) Program, and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program.
“Our brave law enforcement officers are doing all they can to combat crime, but they need adequate resources to do their jobs,” said Senator Casey. “Funding these law enforcement programs will put more cops on the beat and ensure that our officers have the equipment they need to keep Pennsylvanians safe.”
The COPS Program is responsible for advancing the practice of community policing in the nation’s state, local, territory, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Since the program’s inception in 1993, York County has received over $6.45 million in COPS funding, putting an additional 55 officers on the streets, according to the Department of Justice. COPS has provided over $307 million in grants to Pennsylvania law enforcement for resources and equipment to both fight and prevent crime, as well as funding 3,667 additional police officers and sheriffs deputies in Pennsylvania.
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) Program supports crime fighting innovation and has helped local law enforcement agencies in Central Pennsylvania ensure immediate and thorough responses to crimes. The City of York’s Police Department was granted a $45,036 Byrne-JAG grant in 2012 to improve public safety.
The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program provides police officers with bulletproof vests and literally saves lives. FBI data released last year revealed a 25 percent increase in police officers killed by perpetrators in 2011. The City of York has been able to purchase 33 bulletproof vests through $17,560 in BVP funding since the program began.
Senator Casey has been fighting for increased funding for law enforcement. Below are some of his recent efforts:
- In March 2012, Senator Casey sent a letter to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, urging full funding in Fiscal Year 2013 for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) Program, and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program. He followed that letter with one to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling for the same full funding for those programs in the final FY 2013 appropriations legislation.
- In 2011, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, Senator Casey urged the reconsideration of cuts to State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.
- · Senator Casey has been a strong supporter of funding increases for the COPS program and fought efforts to eliminate the program. Senator Casey has cosponsored the COPS Improvements Act which would reauthorize the COPS program.
- To provide more resources to local law enforcement, Senator Casey has been a strong advocate for increased funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program that provides flexible grants for law enforcement to prevent, fight and prosecute crime. Senator Casey has urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase funding for the program and he has voted in favor of funding increases on the Senate floor. Senator Casey also fought past efforts to eliminate funding for the successful Byrne grant program.