Dear Representatives Ross and Moran,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 5029, the “Strong Communities Act.”
The community-policing model is based on officers being part of the communities they police. It means that law enforcement officers can respond knowing the social context of their locality. Similarly, the public can then know and trust the officers working in their community and see them as a source of protection and assistance. Officers who are not familiar with or who are not perceived to be part of their communities are less effective.
Your legislation 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. The agency would use grant funds to pay for recruits to attend a law enforcement training program at an institution of higher education or a training program operated by another agency at no cost, provided that the recruit agrees to serve in an agency in their community for at least four years. This will help local agencies recruit candidates from their own backyard and reduce the financial burden of their education.
On behalf of the more than 373,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both for your leadership on this issue. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.