Casey, Joined by City and County’s Law Enforcement, Calls for Increase in COPS Funding That Could Bring More Officers to Region

House Proposing $325M Cut to COPS Program That Has Funded 12 Officers in Wilkes-Barre and 3,700 Across PA / Since 2010 COPS Program Has Been Cut by $120M / 2013 Was Deadliest Year in Wilkes-Barre’s History, In April Seven Shot Over Six Day Period

Casey, Joined by City and County’s Law Enforcement, Calls for Increase in COPS Funding That Could Bring More Officers to Region

Wilkes-Barre, PA- As crime concerns persist in Wilkes-Barre, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by the city and county’s law enforcement community, called for an increase in the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program that could bring more officers to the region. Some in the House of Representatives are proposing a $325 million cut to the COPS program, which over its lifetime has funded 12 officers in Wilkes-Barre and 3,700 across Pennsylvania. The COPS program has been cut by $120 million since 2010. 2013 was the deadliest year in Wilkes-Barre’s history. This April seven were shot over a six day period.

“Despite the clear need for more officers on the streets with the right technology and resources, federal programs to provide our first responders with the resources they need have been underfunded for years,” Senator Casey said. “We simply cannot afford to ignore this problem any longer, and that means providing local law enforcement with the appropriate tools to do their jobs.”

The COPS Hiring program has been cut by $118 million since fiscal year (FY) 2010. Each year Casey has signed a letter to the Appropriations Committee in support of increased funding for the program. The program was flat-funded last year, and in both FY 2015 and FY 2016, the House Appropriations Committee has attempted to defund the program entirely. While authorization for the COPS program expired in FY 2009, the most recent funding authorization was for $1.05 billion. The only time funding approached that level was during the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

On June 3, 2015, the House of Representatives passed a Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill that eliminated the COPS Hiring Program entirely for FY 2016. On June 11, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a CJS bill that would fund the program at $187 million, $62.5 million less than the President’s request, the level which Casey supported in a letter to the Committee in March.

Fiscal Year

COPS Hiring Grants

2010

$298 M

2011

$247 M

2012

$166 M

2013

$190 M

2014

$180 M

2015

$180 M

Since 1993, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program has been responsible for:

  • Putting 12 officers on the streets of Wilkes-Barre through over $1.4 million in funding
  • over $318 million in grants to Pennsylvania law enforcement for resources and equipment to both fight and prevent crime
  • funding 3,700 additional police officers and sheriff’s deputies in Pennsylvania

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