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Reauthorization of the COPS Program
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RESOLUTIONS INDEX

CRIMINAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

REAUTHORIZATION OF THE COPS PROGRAM 

WHEREAS, the United States Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Public Safety Partnership and Community Policing Act, which became law on October 1, 1994, and created the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Justice and the COPS Office have done a superb job of administering the COPS program so that funds are quickly and efficiently made available to local communities; and

WHEREAS, the COPS program has helped to promote the implementation of community policing in law enforcement agencies across the country, and demonstrate and evaluate the ability of agencies practicing community policing to significantly improve the quality of life by reducing the levels of violence, crime and disorder in their communities; and

WHEREAS, community policing has developed into one of the best partnership programs between public schools and local governments and can help reduce criminal activity and youth violence in and around public schools; and

WHEREAS, the partnership between the federal government and local governments through the COPS program has helped achieve major reductions in crime in cities of all sizes; and

WHEREAS, four-and-a-half years after its inception, the Administration has determined that the COPS program has achieved the stated goal of providing funding for American police agencies to hire or re-deploy more than 100,000 additional officers; and

WHEREAS, the authorization for the COPS program expires after fiscal year 2000; and

WHEREAS, the nation must remain diligent on crime prevention and control efforts to ensure that past gains are maintained and that crime rates are further reduced, especially as they relate to youth violence and crime; and

WHEREAS, the Administration has proposed in the "21st Century Law Enforcement and Public Safety Act," a five year reauthorization of the COPS program through fiscal year 2005; and

WHEREAS, in many cities, facilities and equipment are now insufficient to meet the needs for new officers, due to the hiring of additional officers under the COPS program,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the COPS program and urges Congress to reauthorize the program beyond fiscal year 2000 to continue to promote the implementation of department-wide community policing in our cities, and to improve public safety levels in communities with continued investment by the federal government, policing agencies, communities, school districts and other state and local government agencies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the new COPS program contain the following elements:

    funding for the hiring or re-deployment of 30,000-50,000 additional officers, with a continued emphasis on community oriented policing in and around schools; significant retention funding beyond the initial three years of the program for officers where local fiscal conditions require continued support; much needed flexibility to pay overtime so long as it results in an increase in the number of officers deployed in community oriented policing; a significant increase in the per-officer funding limitation; significant support for crime-fighting technology equipment purchases and programs including improved public safety communications, crime mapping and related analysis programs; expansion and replacement of facilities necessitated by the hiring of additional officers under the COPS program; and crime solving technologies including crime lab improvements and DNA backlog reductions; and support for the criminal justice system including efforts to increase community prosecutions.

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