Rep. Jared Golden proposes tripling funding for federal police grant program
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMTW) - Maine Congressman Jared Golden is proposing more federal funds for local police and sheriff’s departments to boost their ranks.
The bill Golden and three other House Democrats introduced today would triple the money for Community Oriented Policing Services, known as COPS, to nearly $1 billion a year for the next 10 years.
“Some people think we should have less funding for police. Myself and my colleagues think the exact opposite,” Golden said in an interview from the Capitol. “We think that we need better-funded police departments with sufficient staffing, with the resources they need to be well equipped, well trained, and to do the very best job that they can for the communities that they serve.”
His co-sponsors of the COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2021 are Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina, Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, and Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler of Washington.
COPS assists with recruitment and retention and has steered $15 million to Maine law enforcement since 2012.
“The bill would really put an added emphasis on getting more of this funding to rural communities, and it would also allow those communities for the first time to use that funding for the first time to increase wages for law enforcement officers who are already on the job,” Golden said.
The Maine Sheriffs’ Association said passage of the bill would be “a big win.”
“I can’t tell you exactly how much Maine would get out of this, but there would be a bigger pot of money for the departments to apply to,” Golden said, “The job is a tough one, and our law enforcement officers deserve good, solid pay in return for the work that they do for us.”
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