The Congresswoman’s Legislation Would More Than Double Current Federal Funding for the COPS Program, Cut Red Tape for Rural Police Departments & Sheriff’s Offices
WASHINGTON, D.C. — During National Police Week, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus has endorsed U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s bill to help increase officer pay and help Virginia police departments hire more officers. Her legislation garnered the support of more than 75 percent of the Caucus.
Spanberger’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) on the Beat Program Reauthorization and Parity Act would reauthorize the COPS on the Beat Grant Program for the next 10 years and more than double its current funding level, expand access to COPS Grants within rural communities, and create a stand-alone COPS office within the U.S. Department of Justice. Spanberger introduced the bill in January 2022 alongside U.S. Representative Tom Rice (R-SC-07).
Several national law enforcement organizations have already backed Spanberger’s bipartisan legislation — including the National Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs Association, National Organization of Police Officers, National Sheriffs Association, and Sergeants Benevolent Association.
“I want to thank the Problem Solvers Caucus for endorsing my bipartisan COPS on the Beat Program Reauthorization and Parity Act, which I’m proud to lead with my friend and colleague Congressman Rice. As a former federal law enforcement officer, I know that our legislation would help keep our communities safe — while also strengthening relationships between law enforcement officers and the people they serve,” said Spanberger. “Since coming to Congress, I have heard directly from Virginia’s police chiefs and sheriffs about the difficulties they’ve faced in recruiting and retaining officers in their areas — especially during the pandemic. By more than doubling federal funding for the COPS Program, our legislation would help increase officer pay and reduce the amount of stress placed on our local police forces each day.”
“Police officers keep all kinds of communities safe, but those in rural and low-income communities often face barriers to doing their jobs effectively and efficiently,” said Rice. “By endorsing the COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act, the Problem Solvers Caucus is taking action by improving law enforcement relations, budgets, and trainings. I’m proud of the bipartisan support this legislation has received and the thoughtful and targeted solutions it will deliver to South Carolina and the nation.”
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprised of Members — equally divided between Democrats and Republicans — committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. Spanberger serves as Vice-Chair of the Caucus.
The COPS Office is the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.
The COPS Office also awards federal grants for local police departments to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to local residents, government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement.