Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues [December 6, 2011] [open pdf - 416KB]
"The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (the '94 Crime Act). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. The COPS program awards grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States so they can hire and train law enforcement officers to participate in community policing, purchase and deploy new crime-fighting technologies, and develop and test new and innovative policing strategies. COPS grants are managed by the COPS Office, which was created in 1994 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to oversee the COPS program. The COPS program was originally authorized as a multiple-grant program, and appropriations for the program were authorized through FY2000. The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-162) reauthorized the COPS program through FY2009. Along with reauthorizing the COPS program, the act amended current law to change the COPS program into a single-grant program. Authorized appropriations for the COPS program expired in FY2009. As such, Congress could consider legislation to reauthorize the COPS program. Debate about reauthorization of the program could be contentious because the COPS program is one of the primary means for providing federal assistance to state and local law enforcement, but at the same time, Congress is considering ways to reduce discretionary spending in order to shrink the federal budget deficit. This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might consider if it chooses to take up legislation to reauthorize the COPS program."
CRS Report for Congress, R40709