Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 5:54 am

(From Office of Amy Klobuchar)

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today that Minnesota will receive over $11.5 million in COPS grants for local law enforcement to hire additional officers.  The funding, a component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will allow financially-squeezed police departments to save or create police officer jobs.  Minneapolis will receive funding for 13 officers and St. Paul will receive funding for 28 officers.  Other municipalities throughout the state were also awarded funds.

“I’ve always believed that the first responsibility of government is to protect the safety of its citizens,” said Klobuchar, who was Hennepin County’s chief prosecutor for eight years before her election to the U.S. Senate.  “This funding will help law enforcement to prevent and reduce crime while providing jobs and much needed resources to local municipalities facing budget shortfalls.”

Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight responsibility for law enforcement issues.

During consideration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Klobuchar worked to ensure that the bill included measures to strengthen federal support for local law enforcement, beginning with the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which helps local communities hire extra police officers or pay for overtime to keep more officers on the streets.  She was one of the leading advocates for inclusion of the funding in the bipartisan negotiations of the bill.

Since COPS was created in 1994, Minnesota has received $135 million in funding, providing for over 1,400 additional police officers and sheriff’s deputies and directly benefiting 367 law enforcement agencies statewide.  Thanks to COPS, Minneapolis was able to hire 81 new officers in the mid and late 1990s.  The city then experienced its lowest crime rates in three decades and shed its reputation as “Murderapolis.”

“COPS enjoys bipartisan support and it has a proven record of reducing crime by helping local communities hire extra police officers,” said Klobuchar.

An independent research report last year by the Brookings Institution concluded that COPS contributed to the significant national drop in crime during the 1990s, describing it as “one of the most cost-effective options available for fighting crime.”  The report estimated that each dollar spent on the COPS program generates somewhere between $4 and $8.50 in benefits to society.

Other municipalities that received COPS grant funding include:

Big Lake Police Department

City Of Brooklyn Center

City Of Columbia Heights

Isanti Police Department

Leech Lake Tribal Council

Mahnomen County

City of Olivia

Park Rapids Police Department

Township of Pike Bay

Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

Upper Sioux Indian Community

City of Waite Park

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