THE COPS PROGRAM

WHEREAS, following extensive engagement by mayors and police chiefs, the United States Congress passed 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, COPS has made over 32,700 grants to more than 12,400 law enforcement agencies representing an $8.6 billion taxpayer investment in public safety; and

WHEREAS, COPS grants have been used to fund the hiring and redeployment of over 114,000 additional officers including 4,500 School Resource Officers, expand and enhance crime-fighting technology, support crime prevention, and advance community policing; and

WHEREAS, COPS has trained over 173,000 law enforcement personnel, local government leaders, and community members in various community policing strategies, produced over 450 publications and resource materials for law enforcement, and invested over $500 million in youth/school crime prevention, intervention, and enforcement; and

WHEREAS, state and local law enforcement agencies have used $141.9 million in COPS funding to combat the proliferation of methamphetamine by hiring personnel, purchasing equipment, cleaning-up labs, and obtaining critical training in meth-related interdiction tactics, investigation, and prosecution; and

WHEREAS, the COPS Office enjoys a unique relationship with state and local law enforcement and does a superb job of providing vital funding, quickly and efficiently, to local communities, and is cited by mayors and police chiefs as a model federal agency; and

WHEREAS, a recent University of Nebraska study, the most comprehensive look ever at the impact of police presence on crime rates, found that COPS funding is directly linked to the drop in crime since 1995, preventing tens of thousands of violent crimes and hundreds of thousands of property crimes; 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, new and evolving drug-related crime concerns, and in light of the anticipated return of over 600,000 ex-offenders from prisons and jails back into local communities in 2002 alone--many of whom will have not received needed drug treatment; and

WHEREAS, after the tragic events of September 11, cities across America used COPS funded technology and training to improve data and intelligence collection and processing, advance communication and coordination between public safety agencies, reduce community fear by delivering timely information, and increase law enforcement's capacity to prevent and respond to terrorist activity; and

WHEREAS, community policing and the COPS Office can and should play an important role in efforts to enhance homeland security; and

WHEREAS, the Administration's Fiscal Year 2003 budget proposes to cut the COPS program by 80 percent, thereby eliminating funding for hiring programs such as the Universal Hiring Program, COPS MORE, and School Resource Officers; and

WHEREAS, the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved bi-partisan legislation to reauthorize the COPS program and provide increased flexibility in its use including overtime and officer retention,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the COPS program must be fully maintained in FY 2003 and beyond through the appropriations process; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to pass, and the President to sign, legislation to reauthorize the COPS program with increased flexibility.