CJS Appropriations Bill, Hill Meetings, & COPS Program ApplicationsJune 2, 2014
CJS Appropriations Bill Passes House
On May 27, 2014, the House of Representatives passed a $51.2 billion Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) spending measure. Lawmakers voted 321-87 for the Fiscal 2015 legislation (H.R. 4660) to fund the Justice and Commerce departments, along with federal science programs.
Most pertinent to our members, Congressman Dave Reichert’s (R-WA) amendment to increase COPS Hiring Program funding to $180 million, the FY 2014 level, passed by voice vote. NAPO worked closely with senior staffers for Congressman Reichert and Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) to ensure the passage of this amendment, as the COPS Hiring Program is a top priority for NAPO.
Also included in the House CJS bill are amendments offered by Congressman Rich Nugent (R-FL) and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-MN), to increase Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act funding from $9 million to $13 million.
Other CJS bill highlights include the following:
- Congressman Paul Gosar’s (R-AZ) amendment to increase Byrne-JAG program funding by $4.25 million, for a total of $358 million, after carve-outs.
- Congressman Mike Thompson’s (D-CA) amendment to add $19.5 million to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), for a total of $78.5 million.
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) amendment to add $3 million for the Second Chance Act, for a total of $66 million.
The Senate CJS Subcommittee is scheduled to review its version of the CJS spending bill on June 3rd,and the full Senate Appropriations Committee will review the spending bill on June 5th. NAPO will continue to advocate for full funding of our top priority programs and keep our members updated on the status of the Appropriations bill.
If you have any questions about the CJS spending bills, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill
Over the past week, NAPO met with senior staffers for the following Senators: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Senator Mazie Hirono (R-HI), and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). NAPO used the meetings to outline our top priorities, which include the following bills:
Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act: NAPO explained that this bill repurposes and reauthorizes a grant program to create a victim-centered model block grant to help states and local governments develop and implement comprehensive victim-centered programs to train law enforcement to rescue victims, prosecute human traffickers, and restore the lives of victims. It also allows state and local human trafficking task forces to obtain wiretap warrants within their own state courts without federal approval in order to investigate crimes of child pornography, child sexual exploitation, and human trafficking. An amended version of the bill passed the House of Representatives on May 20, 2014, and we are hopeful that it will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the coming months.
Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (JMHCA): NAPO explained that the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) created the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) to help states and counties design and implement collaborative efforts between criminal justice and mental health systems. The JMHCA reauthorizes the successful MIOTCRA and extends the JMHCP for five years. The JMHCP can help law enforcement agencies across the United States in their responsibilities in assisting those, and dealing with citizens with mental health issues.
Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program Reauthorization Act: NAPO explained the importance of the BVP Grant Program, which provides federal funds to state and local law enforcement departments to assist state and local law enforcement efforts to purchase bullet resistant vests. NAPO continues to expend all available efforts to garner additional cosponsors for the House and Senate versions of this bill.
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Improvement and Reauthorization Act: NAPO stressed the importance of passing this legislation, which would reauthorize the COPS Program for five years and raise the current hiring cap from $75,000 to $125,000. Additionally, the President’s FY 2015 Budget includes $247 million for the COPS Hiring Program. NAPO has been advocating for the COPS Hiring Program to be funded at a minimum of the amount requested by President Obama, and hopes this point will be considered as the Senate reviews the CJS spending bill.
The staffers were receptive to the above proposals. We look forward to working with each of the offices in the future. If you have any questions about any of the bills summarized above, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
COPS Hiring Program Applications
The COPS Office has opened the application process for the 2014 COPS Hiring Program (CHP) and the Community Policing Development (CPD) Program.
Through the competitive CHP Program, the COPS Office will provide funding to hire police officers. Applicants may request funds to hire new officers, rehire recently laid-off officers, or maintain officers scheduled to be laid-off.
Through the CPD Program, the COPS Office will provide funding to advance the practice of community policing in law enforcement agencies through training and technical assistance, the development of innovative community policing strategies, demonstration projects, applied research, guidebooks, and best practices that are national in scope and responsive to the solicitation topic requirements. The COPS Office, a federal provider of innovative, customer-focused resources that address the continuing and emerging needs of those engaged in enhancing public safety through community policing, has designed the CPD solicitation to address critical topics in the law enforcement field by building on the principles of community policing.
All application materials are available at the following website: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=46. The solicitations for both programs close on June 23, 2014 at 7:59 p.m. EDT.
If you have any questions about these programs, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.