Reed on COPS

copsDon’t let the name fool you. Just because Congress gives a bill a catchy title that tugs on the heartstrings does not mean the program must be continued.–Ashe Schow, Heritage Action

 

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:

  1. Tom would introduce a new bill when a similar bill has languished for a year and a half in committee?
  2. Why Tom would introduce a bill now when it is all but certain to die at the end of the year.
  3. How Tom’s bill might differ from H.R.421
  4. 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

http://reed.house.gov/press-release/reed-previews-school-resource-officer-bill

http://reed.house.gov/press-release/reed-provision-protects-cops-program-cut

https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/421

http://heritageaction.com/2012/03/cops-yet-another-wasteful-government-program/

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About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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5 Responses to Reed on COPS

  1. whungerford says:

    Reed told the Corning Leader that “the total cost of the reauthorization for the COPS program, run by the Department of Justice, would be approximately $1 billion. The five-year reauthorization would guarantee $30 million in funding to help school districts hire SROs.”

    http://www.the-leader.com/article/20140902/NEWS/140909946/?Start=1

  2. Anne says:

    Just as an aside, I’d like to observe that the very last thing we need is further militarization of our police forces.

    • whungerford says:

      Libertarian Justin Amash (R-MI) writes: “I voted yes on the Grayson of FL Amendment to ‪#‎HR4870‬, which prohibits funding in the bill from being used to transfer aircraft, grenade launchers, toxicological agents, missiles, and other weapons from the federal government to state and local law enforcement. This is military-grade equipment that shouldn’t be used on the street by state and local police. The amendment was not agreed to 62-355.”
      http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll329.xml

      • Anne says:

        I was thinking more about the part about hiring ex-military for these positions. I’m thinking that that type of training might not be the best fit for what a school resource officer needs to do.

    • Deb Meeker says:

      Who knows about Reed’s version that might be introduced?
      In the bill that has been held up (*See below) there is more emphasis on “community policing”; active duty cops are mandated to get to know those whom they are there to serve and protect.
      This press release of Reed’s again seeks to endear him to the gun crowd and privateers.

      * http://www.justice.gov/jmd/2014justification/pdf/cops-justification.pdf

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