Bennet Secures Additional COPS Funding to Help Local Police Departments Facing Budget Cuts Put More Cops on the Beat

Senate Initially Passed $100M for COPS Funding - Bennet Pushed to Increase Funds As Just 14 Percent of Requests Are Funded

In Win, Bennet Secures $298 Million for Program in Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today announced Senate approval of $298 million in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, which administration officials estimate will lead to the hiring or rehiring of 50,000 additional cops.

The funding was included in an omnibus appropriations bill that passed the Senate late yesterday. The bill is now headed to the president's desk for his signature.

"More COPS funding means more officers on the beat," Bennet said. "This funding is vital for our small towns and cities struggling with budget shortfalls to hire and retain police officers. I will continue to fight to make sure this funding is delivered to Colorado's towns and cities."

The Senate initially passed $100 million in COPS Funding in the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act of 2010, while the House's version allocated $298 million. Bennet and Senator Amy Klobuchar, joined by 31 of their Senate colleagues, pushed for the final bill to include an additional $198 million in funds requested by the Administration and funded by the House to help local police departments maintain their current ranks even as they face budget cuts.

Despite increased funding for COPS over the past year through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, just 14 percent of COPS Recovery Hiring Program requests were funded because of high demand and strained resources. The COPS program is essential to sustaining and enhancing local efforts to prevent domestic violence and drug trafficking during this recession.

Additional resources for local law enforcement agencies means more cops on the beat, or in some cases, that a community can maintain the law enforcement jobs that it has. The COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) provides support to achieve these goals. 9 Colorado departments took advantage of funding available through the CHRP this year.

Already this year, the program has helped boost funding for Police Departments across Colorado:

  • The Haxtun Police Department received $416,985 to assist the department's efforts to secure area schools.
  • The Colorado Springs Police Department received $436,119 to assist the department's efforts against child endangerment and protect communities from sexual predators.
  • The Denver and Aurora Police Departments received more than $350,000 to assist efforts to secure city schools.