WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Rice Introduced Legislation This Week to Increase Compensation and Hiring of Rural Law Enforcement Officers
Jan 14 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-V.A.) along with 10 of their colleagues introduced the bipartisan Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022 to increase compensation and hiring of law enforcement officers.
The legislation reauthorizes the COPS on the Beat Grant Program for the next 10 years, expands access to COPS Grants to rural communities, allows for COPS grants to be used to increase wages for officers in low-income communities, and creates a stand-alone COPS office within the U.S. Department of Justice.
Read what the law enforcement community is saying about the legislation:
NATIONAL FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE (FOP): “Our nation is grappling with an increase in crime, particularly violent crime, and the profession of law enforcement is struggling to hire and retain good officers to keep our communities safe. This legislation affirms our national commitment to the community- oriented policing strategy—which the FOP believes is the most effective way to promote public safety and to enhance the quality of life in a community. On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both and all of our original cosponsors for working with us to develop this legislation,” said Patrick Yoes, National President, National Fraternal Order of Police. Read the letter here.
MAJOR CITIES CHIEFS ASSOCIATION (MCCA): “Local law enforcement agencies utilize COPS grants for a variety of critical purposes, including hiring officers. In light of the challenges with recruitment and retention facing many agencies, these grants have never been more important. The COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022 will formally authorize COPS grants and provide a much-needed increase in the authorized appropriations level, thereby providing increased stability for years to come. The MCCA thanks Rep. Rice, Rep. Spanberger, and the other co-sponsors for their work on this vital piece of legislation,” said Laura Cooper, Executive Director, Major Cities Chiefs Association. Read the letter here.
MAJOR COUNTY SHERIFFS OF AMERICA (MCSA): “The Major County Sheriffs of America thanks Representatives Rice and Spanberger for introducing legislation to reauthorize the COPS on the Beat Grant Program. This program provides critical funding to hire, re-hire, and retain officers to increase community policing capacity and support crime prevention efforts. In many communities, these dollars are keeping law enforcement officers on the street when they may otherwise be without coverage for portions of the day. Increasing funding and improving the program will provide necessary resources for state and local enforcement to respond to their communities’ needs. MCSA stands ready to support all efforts to advance this important legislation,” said Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, President, Major County Sheriffs of America.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS (NAPO): “The COPS Program provides invaluable resources, training, and technical assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies, helping to keep our communities safe.? However, small and rural agencies across the country find themselves getting left behind due to their size and lack of resources. The COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act levels the playing field for small and rural law enforcement agencies and ensures greater access to departments in lower-income communities that otherwise would not be able to afford to participate in the grant program. We thank Representatives Rice and Spanberger for their leadership and we look forward to working with them to ensure all law enforcement agencies have the support and resources necessary to serve and protect our communities,” said Bill Johnson, Executive Director, National Association of Police Organizations.
SOUTH CAROLINA SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION (SCSA): “South Carolina’s Sheriffs are excited to see this important initiative introduced. A number of Sheriffs’ Offices across the state - including small, rural agencies - have successfully used these funds to enhance the level of public safety provided in their communities. We hope this bi-partisan legislation is embraced and enacted quickly,” said Jarrod Bruder, Executive Director of South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association.