2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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THE COPS PROGRAM

†††† WHEREAS, ten years ago this year, with the strong support of Americaís mayors and law enforcement leaders, 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 36,800 grants to nearly 13,000 law enforcement agencies representing a $10.6 billion taxpayer investment in public safety; and

†††† WHEREAS, COPS grants have been used to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 118,500 additional officers including over 6,100 School Resource Officers, expand and enhance crime-fighting technology, support crime prevention, and advance community policing; and

†††† WHEREAS, COPS has trained over 280,000 law enforcement personnel, local government leaders, and community members in various community policing strategies, produced over 500 publications and resource materials for law enforcement; and

†††† WHEREAS, state and local law enforcement agencies have used $280.3 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, COPS continues to enjoy 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, cities across America continue to use COPS funding to hire and train police officers including school resource officers, enhance vital public safety communication and coordination, develop and implement community policing best practices, and enhance their capacity to reduce crime and prevent future acts of terror, 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 return of over 860,000 ex-offenders from prisons and jails back into local communities annually--many of whom will have not received needed drug treatment; and

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

†††† WHEREAS, the Administrationís Fiscal Year 2005 budget proposes to cut the COPS program by almost 80 percent to $95.5 million, eliminating funding for hiring programs such as the Universal Hiring Program, COPS MORE, School Resource Officers, and overtime assistance, as well as for interoperability grants; and

†††† WHEREAS, the United States House of Representatives has passed legislation to authorize a new, highly flexible COPS program with a $1 billion authorization,

†††† NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the COPS program must be fully maintained in FY 2005 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; and

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any reauthorization of COPS should provide significant resources to address the critical needs of local law enforcement, allow for greater program flexibility, continue the COPS Office as an independent component within the Department of Justice, and preserve within COPS all of its current functions.††† The new program should allow for flexibility to use funding in areas including general hiring, school resource officers, officer re-deployments, officer retention, overtime, technology, and communications interoperability.