Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

House Appropriators Propose Eliminating COPS Program

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

House Appropriators Propose Eliminating COPS Program

Article excerpt

Last week, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved a 2012 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill that would eliminate the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and virtually all its programs. Further, the spending bill would make drastic cuts to Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG), the Second Chance Act and Juvenile Justice Grants.

While the committee agreed to an amendment by Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) to restore $10 million in funds for the COPS Secure Our Schools pro gram, they rejected an amendment by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) that would restore funding for the COPS Office and the COPS Hiring Program (CHP) by reducing funding for the Bureau of Prisons. The committee also rejected another by Rothman that would provide $85 million for COPS Technology Grants.

In addition, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) withdrew an amendment to provide $23 million as a "placeholder" for the COPS Office by reducing each account in the bill by .04 percent, after it encountered significant opposition from members of the committee.

In all, the bill would ultimately cut more than $1.1 billion from state and local government programs at a time when cities are already being forced to make cuts to public safety personnel.

The $1.1 billion in cuts is larger than the overall difference in funding between the FY 2011 and FY 2012 bills for Commerce, Justice, and Science. Between the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill and the Homeland Security appropriations bill passed by the House last month, state and local public safety agencies stand to lose over $2 billion in federal funding. …

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