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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background, Legislation, and Funding

Nathan James
Analyst in Crime Policy

The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-162) reauthorized the COPS program through FY2009 and changed the COPS program from a multigrant program to a single-grant program.

For the first eight fiscal years that Congress funded the COPS program, the average annual appropriation was more than $1 billion. Starting in FY2003, annual appropriations for the program, in general, started to decrease. The average annual appropriation for the COPS program over the past eight fiscal years (excluding the $1 billion in funding COPS received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; P.L. 111-5) is $658 million.

Several bills were introduced in the 111
th Congress that would have modified the COPS program, reauthorized appropriations for the program, or both. Three of these bills—H.R. 1139, S. 167, and H.R. 1568—would have reauthorized appropriations for the COPS program. In addition, H.R. 1139 and S. 167 would have, among other things, changed COPS from a single-grant to a multigrant program and made the COPS Office an exclusive component of the Department of Justice (DOJ). H.R. 3154 and S. 1424 would have required the Attorney General to award grants to units of local government with high violent crime rates so they could increase the size of their police forces.

Date of Report: January 4, 2011
Number of Pages: 15
Order Number: RL33308
Price: $29.95

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