Tom Reed tells us:
Just as students return to school this week, Tom Reed is preparing to return to Washington with a bill ready to make schools safer with more opportunities in School Resource Officer (SRO) programs. Reed said Monday he is finalizing legislation now to put local school districts in a better position to access School Resource Officers and plan for upcoming school years.
I can’t comment on Reed’s bill because there is no bill number or summary yet. Reed doesn’t mention that a similar bill, H.R.421, has been stalled in a House committee since January, 2013. Rep. Reed is not listed as a cosponsor of H.R.421. H.R.421:
Repeals provisions authorizing: (1) the Attorney General to give preferential consideration to applications for hiring and rehiring additional career law enforcement officers that involve a non-federal contribution exceeding a 25% minimum; and (2) the use of such grants to develop and implement either innovative programs to permit members of the community to assist state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies in the prevention of crime in the community or new administrative and managerial systems to facilitate the adoption of community-oriented policing as an organization-wide philosophy.
Authorizes the use of such grants to: (1) hire school resource officers and establish local partnerships to enhance school safety and to combat crime, gangs, drug activities, and other problems in elementary and secondary schools; (2) establish and implement innovative programs to reduce and prevent illegal drug manufacturing, distribution, and use; (3) meet emerging law enforcement needs; (4) hire former members of the Armed Forces to serve as career law enforcement officers for deployment in community-oriented policing; and (5) develop new technologies to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in crime prevention and training.
Requires an application for a grant for officers performing homeland security duties to explain how the applicant intends to coordinate with federal law enforcement in support of the applicant’s homeland security mission.
Increases the limit on grant funding provided for hiring or rehiring a career law enforcement officer, unless the Attorney General grants a waiver, from $75,000 to $125,000.
Extends the authorization of appropriations for the program for FY 2013-FY 2017.
Reed says his bill would extend the program until FY 2019: that’s one minor difference.
One wonders why:
- Tom would introduce a new bill when a similar bill has languished for a year and a half in committee?
- Why Tom would introduce a bill now when it is all but certain to die at the end of the year.
- How Tom’s bill might differ from H.R.421
- Why Tom would not discuss funding or offsets. (maybe because he knows it won’t become law)
Reed touts his bill, but doesn’t explain.
Not everyone supports the COPS program–see the Heritage Action article cited below.
© William Hungerford – September 2014