Casey Pushes for Plan to Add More Cops to PA Streets, Help Municipalities Hire New Officers, Receive Bulletproof Vests After $118 Million Cut Since 2010

County by County Data Shows How COPS Hiring Program Has Put More Officers on Streets and How Bulletproof Vests Have Saved Lives / Casey Calls on Congress to Add More Funding to COPS Hiring, Bulletproof Vest Programs in Upcoming Budget / COPS Hiring Has Been Cut by $118 Million Since 2010 - Program Has Helped Put 125,000 Officers to Streets Since 1995

Casey Pushes for Plan to Add More Cops to PA Streets, Help Municipalities Hire New Officers, Receive Bulletproof Vests After $118 Million Cut Since 2010

Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pushed for a plan to add more cops to Pennsylvania’s streets following a $118 million cut to the COPS Hiring program since 2010. Casey highlighted the need for Congress to fund the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program, which literally saves lives of police officers in the field. Pennsylvania county by county data below shows the impact that the COPS program has had in recent years. Casey also called on Congress to add more funding to the COPS program in its upcoming budget. The program has added 3,667 law enforcements officers to Pennsylvania’s streets since 1995.

“Despite the clear need for more officers on the streets with the right technology and resources, federal programs to provide our first responders with this support have been underfunded for years,” said Senator Casey. “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.  I’m calling on Congress to fund these programs which have proven to be instrumental in keeping both citizens and law enforcement safe.”

County numbers on COPS funding for Pennsylvania are below:

COUNTY

OFFICERS (non-school)

OFFICERS (school)

TOTAL FUNDS

Adams

18.4

0.0

1,294,003

Allegheny

543.4

10.5

36,407,015

Armstrong

9.3

0.0

541,916

Beaver

99.0

4.0

8,287,173

Bedford

2.5

0.0

324,941

Berks*

99.4

3.0

9,643,461

Blair

6.7

0.5

473,449

Bradford

9.5

2.0

1,229,766

Bucks*

155.2

2.0

10,731,425.0

Butler

15.8

1.0

1,480,534

Cambria*

61.0

3.0

4,290,283

Cameron

---

---

---

Carbon

10.8

0.0

677,615

Centre

64.4

1.0

4,690,696

Chester

91.3

2.0

7,049,732

Clarion

1.5

0.5

1,403,185

Clearfield

5.0

2.0

625,000

Clinton

2.0

0.0

135,583

Columbia

8.8

2.0

922,199

Crawford

4.0

1.0

474,103

Cumberland

23.5

0.0

1,873,939

Dauphin*

49.7

16.5

7,767,961

Delaware

72.8

5.0

6,035,951

Elk

3.2

0.0

179,985

Erie

27.1

5.0

4,442,096

Fayette

14.4

3.0

2,711,831

Forest

---

---

---

Franklin

8.0

0.0

2,246,702

Fulton

---

---

---

Greene

2.0

0.0

222,921

Huntingdon

2.0

0.0

500,363

Indiana

8.2

2.0

1,339,716

Jefferson

5.5

0.0

345,992

Juniata

---

---

---

Lackawanna

55.2

9.0

6,140,778

Lancaster

97.3

2.0

6,809,582

Lawrence

8.0

0.0

1,168,684

Lebanon

20.4

0.0

1,339,026

Lehigh

60.0

10.0

12,068,703

Luzerne

106.9

1.0

7,216,403

Lycoming

10.7

1.0

2,195,840

McKean

5.5

0.0

355,020

Mercer

23.0

0.0

2,048,695

Mifflin

1.0

---

125,000

Monroe

29.8

1.0

2,551,260

Montgomery

428.4

7.0

13,321,755

Montour

2.0

0.0

31,760

Northampton

70.9

3.0

5,527,229

Northumberland

23.9

3.0

1,656,881

Perry

1.0

0.0

70,751

Philadelphia

903.8

0.0

75,724,019

Pike

3.5

0.0

220,416

Potter

4.0

0.0

295,007

Schuylkill

31.6

0.0

2,701,680

Snyder

3.0

0.0

462,479

Somerset

10.0

0.0

951,321

Sullivan

---

---

---

Susquehanna

3.5

0.0

202,106

Tioga

1.0

0.0

8,200

Union

10.5

0.0

261,433

Venango

10.0

1.0

876,156

Warren

3.3

0.0

152,256

Washington

30.5

1.0

2,530,500

Wayne

5.1

0.0

309,283

Westmoreland

44.3

0.0

3,740,675

Wyoming

1.7

0.0

121,865

York

55.2

7.0

6,450,399

 

Multi-County

61.2

6.0

14,719,549

Statewide

3.0

0.0

17,043,905

Total**

3562.7

118.0

307,748,152

*This figure is a minimum – actual number may be higher due to incomplete DOJ data. 

**Total utilized raw, incomplete DOJ data.

Senator Casey’s letters to the appropriators on both programs are below:

COPS

Dear Senator Mikulski and Senator Shelby:

As you consider funding levels for this fiscal year, we write to request that you fund the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program at a minimum of $247 million, the amount requested in the President’s FY 2015 budget, in the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill.

As you know, in recent years, budget constraints have forced many municipalities to either reduce hiring or lay off public safety officers. While fiscal responsibility requires tough budget decisions at every level of government, public safety must not be compromised in the process. The COPS Hiring program represents a fiscally responsible solution to ensure that our communities remain safe; the Brookings Institution found it to be “one of the most cost-effective options available for fighting crime.” When officers establish a presence on their patrols, they develop positive relationships with the communities they serve. These relationships in turn increase law enforcement’s ability to solve local crimes and resolve public safety problems. Increasing the presence of officers on our cities’ streets helps keep at-risk youth away from crime by fostering cooperation and collaboration between law enforcement and community members. This proactive approach to policing prevents crime from occurring, saving taxpayers the high societal costs associated with crime, incarceration and services for victims.

Since its creation, the COPS Office has assisted over 13,000 of the nation’s 18,000 jurisdictions with over $14 billion in funding to hire more than 125,000 additional officers. In FY 2013, COPS Hiring granted $127.5 million to 266 communities to hire, preserve, or rehire 955 law enforcement officers.  In FY 2013, there were heightened restrictions for funding requests leading many communities to forego applications, but of the 1,718 jurisdictions that applied, they requested over $974 million in funding. Without the restrictions, approximately $2.9 billion would have been requested. The $247 million requested is a small fraction of the $1 billion appropriated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and less than the $298 million previously appropriated in FY 2010.

In addition to hiring more officers, the COPS Hiring Program offers innovative programs to enhance the effectiveness of community policing. For instance, the COPS Office provides training and technical assistance to educate law enforcement officers on community policing best practices. COPS Hiring also provides grants for local agencies to replace obsolete technology, enabling them to efficiently and effectively investigate, respond to, and prevent crime.

We are supported in this request by law enforcement organizations including the Fraternal Order of Police, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

We appreciate the hard work and leadership that you have shown on these issues. Ongoing crime and violence in our cities continues to demonstrate the vital need for increased police protection in our communities.  Therefore, as you determine the funding levels for this program, we ask that you support funding for the COPS Hiring Program at the highest possible level.

Bulletproof Vests

Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby:

Thank you for your leadership and past support of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program. As you begin work on the Subcommittee’s appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2015, we respectfully request that you include a standalone funding level of $30,000,000 for the Bulletproof Vest program.

According to the Government Accountability Office, bulletproof vests have saved the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers since 1987. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership has helped law enforcement officers in 13,000 jurisdictions purchase over one million lifesaving vests that their departments would not be able to afford otherwise.

In recent years, demand for bulletproof vests has been outpacing funding for the program. In 2013, the program was able to cover only a third of the cost of purchasing a new vest, rather than half of the cost, as the law provides. This was due to both an increase in applications from local jurisdictions and a decrease in overall funding for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership. With state and local law enforcement already struggling under significant budget constraints, and the demand for vests continuing to increase, it is imperative that Congress continue to invest in this lifesaving program. Our support is critical to ensuring that both large and small jurisdictions can participate in a program that truly protects those who risk their lives for our safety every day.

Bulletproof vests remain one of the primary forms of defense for our uniformed officers. As you weigh priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, we urge you to consider the proven lifesaving effectiveness of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program.

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John Rizzo 202-228-6367