Washington – U.S. Rep. John Katko (R, NY-24) today introduced the COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act. This bipartisan legislation reauthorizes and updates the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to ensure local police departments have the necessary resources to keep Central New Yorkers safe. Rep. Katko introduced this bill alongside U.S. Reps. Tom Rice (R, SC-7) and Abigail Spanberger (D, VA-7).
The COPS program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, provides law enforcement agencies with financial assistance to hire law enforcement officers, provide training, and advance community policing efforts. The COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act reauthorizes the COPS program through 2031, ensuring this important funding stream continues to be available to law enforcement agencies in Central New York. Additionally, the bill updates the COPS program to better meet the needs of agencies in rural and low-income communities. The bill allows COPS hiring grant funding to be used by rural departments to increase law enforcement wages, while also reducing barriers that have historically prevented smaller departments from accessing these funds, such as excessive cost sharing burdens or limitations on the availability of resources.
“Today, I introduced the COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act. This bill reauthorizes and updates the COPS program to ensure federal funding remains available to police departments of all sizes in Central New York,” said Rep. Katko. “Since the COPS program was launched, local police departments have received funding to bolster training, purchase lifesaving protective equipment, and expand community policing initiatives. As a former organized crime prosecutor, I worked alongside police officers and saw firsthand the good the COPS program does. It is vital to keeping our police officers and the communities they serve safe. As far-left lawmakers continue their push to defund the police, I’m fighting back and continuing to lead on initiatives that provide law enforcement with the resources they need to safely serve and protect.”
“The COPS program has benefited the Syracuse Police Department and the Syracuse community for years,” said Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner. “Whether it was hiring more Officers, providing funds for training, the COPS Office has been instrumental in providing support to the Syracuse Police Department and enhancing the services provided to the community. We support the adequate funding for the COPS Office and appreciate Congressman John Katko’s continued support of law enforcement across the region.”
“I wholeheartedly support Congressman Katko’s bill to reauthorize the COPS program,” said Onondaga County Sheriff Eugene Conway. “As someone who has worked at the Village, Town, and County level of policing in this community the COPS program has been the most beneficial program at the Federal level that supports law enforcement. Less funding for police departments is not the answer at this time, as we are being called upon to service calls well beyond normal expectations. The need for COPS funding is critical now and going forward.”
Since coming to Congress, Rep. Katko has been a staunch advocate for the COPS program. Rep. Katko has voted for legislation that increases the program’s funding and helped deliver grants to local police departments like the City of Syracuse. Rep. Katko has also focused on reining in Albany’s bail reform laws in an effort to enhance public safety. Recently, he introduced the SERVE Our Communities Act, a bill that would incentivize New York State to enact a ‘dangerousness standard’ that allows judges to thoroughly consider public safety when making bail or pretrial release decisions.
The COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs Association, National Organization of Police Officers, National Sheriffs Association, and Sergeants Benevolent Association.