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Alexandria, VA – Last evening, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to unveil The American Jobs Act – a series of initiatives aimed at creating and preserving jobs throughout the United States. Along with cuts to payroll taxes; jobs to revamp transportation infrastructure; employment for our nation’s veterans; and extension of unemployment insurance, the President’s proposal would provide $4 billion in funding for the COPS Hiring Program to enable the new hiring and rehiring of thousands of law enforcement officers across the nation, as well as the prevention of officer lay-offs.
COPS Hiring funding is critical to state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide and its need is well-documented. Since its implementation in 1994, the COPS Hiring Program has afforded state and local law enforcement agencies the ability to hire much-needed personnel to advance community policing efforts and anti-crime programs. In 2009, while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $1 billion to the COPS Hiring Program, the COPS Office received a shocking $8.3 billion funding requests. Furthermore, appropriated funding in the previous two fiscal years was less than a third each year of the original ARRA level, despite the significant need continually expressed by state and local law enforcement agencies who submitted over $5 billion in requests.
“The National Sheriffs’ Association applauds President Obama and Vice President Biden for their strong and unwavering support of our nation’s law enforcement; and are extraordinarily grateful to President Obama and Vice President Biden for recognizing what a vital resource COPS Hiring is to law enforcement agencies,” stated Sheriff Paul H. Fitzgerald, President of the National Sheriffs’ Association and Sheriff of Story County, IA. “In these tough economic times, the proposed $4 billion for COPS Hiring would be a monumental step forward to not only create and preserve essential public safety jobs, but ensure that law enforcement agencies have the tools and resources necessary to protect the safety and security of their communities nationwide.”
National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) is one of the largest association of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation, and a total membership of more than 20,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety. Throughout its seventy-two year history, NSA has served as an information clearinghouse for sheriffs, deputies, chiefs of police, other law enforcement professionals, state governments and the federal government.
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