Washington, DC - Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, applauded today’s news that the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary considered and favorably reported the following bills:
• S. 546, the “Recruit and Retain Act;”
• S. 994, the “Strong Communities Act;”
• S. 1530, the “COPS on the Beat Grant Program Parity Act;” and
• S. 1387, the “Project Safe Neighborhoods Reauthorization Act.”
The FOP supported all these bills, which will now be sent to the Senate floor for a vote.
“Law enforcement is experiencing a real crisis in retaining good officers and attracting quality candidates to policing,” Yoes said. “Three of these bills provide increased flexibility to local agencies trying to maintain and recruit officers for their communities and from their communities.”
Two bills passed by the committee, S. 546, the “Recruit and Retain Act,” and S. 1530, the “COPS on the Beat Grant Program Parity Act,” make changes to the Hiring Program administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The “Recruit and Retain Act” would allow these funds to be used to reduce application fees and other similar costs incurred by job applicants, and S. 1530 would allow rural and lower-income communities to use COPS hiring grants to increase wages.
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary also passed, by voice vote, S. 994, the “Strong Communities Act,” which would help build on the community-policing model by establishing a grant program for local law enforcement agencies to assist in recruiting officers from their own community.
Finally, the committee voted to favorably report S. 1387, the “Project Safe Neighborhoods Reauthorization Act,” which would reauthorize critical funding and support for local law enforcement agencies and community organizations that help reduce violent crime and enhance public safety.
“Project Safe Neighborhoods is a highly successful anti-crime program that helps focus Federal resources on communities that need the most help,” said Yoes. “With violence increasing in too many places across the country, we need these resources to stop crimes of violence—especially those involving firearms.”
President Yoes finished by stating, “On behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I applaud the Members of the committee for their swift action on these bills and look forward to working with them to get them passed by the full Senate.”