Congressman Dan Kildee, Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, announced new legislation to support law enforcement and help reduce crime in mid-Michigan, including federal support for local police departments and hiring more police officers in communities like Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and Midland.
Congressman Kildee's legislation, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) on the Beat Program Reauthorization and Parity Act, nearly triples funding available to law enforcement over the next 10 years and expands COPS grants to hire more police officers and increase officer wages. The bill is supported by Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
"Police are an important pillar of our society. I'm proud to help introduce this bipartisan legislation to increase funding for local law enforcement so they can hire more police officers and keep our neighborhoods and communities safe," Congressman Kildee said.
Congressman Kildee strongly opposes any attempt to "defund" the police. As a part of the American Rescue Plan, Congressman Kildee, a Democratic Congress and President Biden delivered $350 billion to communities across the U.S. that can be used to fund local police departments. Every single Republican voted against this relief.
As part of the COPS on the Beat Program, the U.S. Department of Justice awards grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire officers, provide training and advance community policing efforts. Congressman Kildee's bill would expand this program and increase funding through 2031.
"Congressman Kildee examples yet again his support of law enforcement in America while advocating police accountability, professionalism, and transparency," said Genesee County Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson
"I would like to applaud the efforts of Congressman Kildee for supporting legislation that would reauthorize the COPS Program. This program will not only make a positive impact in our communities but will help law enforcement agencies across the country address the current challenges associated with the recruitment and retention of highly qualified police officers," said Ron Wiles, President of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and Chief of Police at the Grand Blanc Township Police Department.
"I am in full support of the COPS on the Beat Program Reauthorization and Parity Act. In my 35 years in law enforcement, I have not seen proposed federal legislation that funds law enforcement to the extent that this bill does. These funds would allow the recruitment of quality candidates that may have barriers to accessing the profession and further develop great relationships in our community. I want to thank Congressman Dan Kildee for his work and support of this important legislation that funds the police," said Michael Cecchini, Bay City Public Safety Director.
"As with many other law enforcement agencies, we are having a difficult time recruiting and retaining qualified officers to work in our community. This legislation would provide much-needed assistance to our township and Police Department. I want to say thank you to Rep. Kildee for cosponsoring this important piece of legislation," said Kevin Salter, Chief of Police, Charter Township of Flint.
Congressman Kildee's bill is endorsed by 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.
Congressman Kildee is committed to reducing crime and keeping mid-Michigan communities safe. In October 2021, Kildee announced federal grants totaling $266,312 for Genesee, Bay and Saginaw Counties to purchase new patrol vehicles, equipment and support police operations. In November 2021, Kildee announced a $785,555 COPS grant for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe to hire police officers and support public safety efforts.