Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment authored by Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) that would make sure local law enforcement agencies get funding to purchase essential technology. The amendment was approved on a bipartisan vote, 306-106.
The amendment restores funding to the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) technology grant program, which provides grants to law enforcement agencies on a competitive basis.
“This amendment will help our law enforcement agencies protect our communities,” said Congressman McNerney. “These agencies are often understaffed and trying to do more with fewer resources. My amendment would allow local law enforcement agencies in Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties to purchase technologies that can increase their effectiveness on the streets. These kinds of technologies are in demand by police departments in my district and across the nation, and I’m proud that my amendment will help them purchase these vital resources and could save lives.”
The COPS technology program awarded grants to over 3,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States until 2010. COPS is intended to advance the practice of community policing in America’s state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) released a statement supporting Congressman McNerney’s amendment: “On behalf of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and our 22,000 members, I would like to applaud Congressman McNerney for introducing this important amendment and thank his fellow colleagues who voted to pass it today, said IACP’s President, Chief Yousry “Yost” Zakhary (City of Woodway, Texas). Technology plays a critical and increasingly important role in the daily work of law enforcement officers in the field, equipping us with enforcement and investigative tools that have the potential to make law enforcement safer, better informed, and more effective and efficient. The additional funding provided by Congressman McNerney’s efforts will enable local law enforcement agencies around the nation to purchase advanced technologies that will help us better serve and safeguard the citizens we were sworn to protect. We look forward to continuing to partner with Mr. McNerney to make sure his amendment gets signed into law.”
Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10) also expressed his support for Rep. McNerney’s amendment, saying in a statement: “I am happy to work with my colleagues to pass needed funding for our local law enforcement who uphold the integrity of our society — keeping crime at bay and our neighborhoods safe, oftentimes at great personal risk. These heroes need our support and I am committed to continuing to work with Rep. McNerney and other colleagues to ensure that our local police have all the resources they need to maintain the safety and security of our communities.”