Letter to Matt Cartwright, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, and Robert Aderholt, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies - To Improve Public Safety, We Must Better Support Local Law Enforcement


By: Richard Hudson, Jr., David Rouzer, Kathy Manning, Michael Guest, Vicky Hartzler, Peter Stauber, Michelle Fischbach, Tom Emmer, Dean Phillips, Angie Craig, Debbie Dingell, Haley Stevens, Dan Kildee, Peter Meijer, Chellie Pingree, Jamie Raskin, Steny Hoyer, Anthony Brown, John Sarbanes, Bill Keating, Seth Moulton, Jim McGovern, Garret Graves, Julia Letlow, Mike Johnson, Andy Barr, John Yarmuth, Jacob LaTurner, André Carson, Frank Mrvan, Darin LaHood, Cheri Bustos, Adam Kinzinger, Rodney Davis, Bill Foster, Danny Davis, Robin Kelly, Cindy Axne, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Kai Kahele, David Scott, Hank Johnson, Jr., Buddy Carter, Maria Salazar, Frederica Wilson, Ted Deutch, Gus Bilirakis, Val Demings, Darren Soto, Michael Waltz, John Rutherford, Kat Cammack, Jahana Hayes, Jim Himes, Mark Kelly, David McKinley, Mike Gallagher, Ron Kind, Bryan Steil, Kim Schrier, Rick Larsen, Peter Welch, Stacey Plaskett, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, Jr., Abigail Spanberger, Bob Good, Donald McEachin, Blake Moore, Marc Veasey, Colin Allred, Michael McCaul, Lizzie Fletcher, Steve Cohen, David Kustoff, Tim Burchett, Ralph Norman, Jr., Jim Langevin, Jenniffer González-Colón, Mike Doyle, Jr., Conor Lamb, GT Thompson, Jr., Fred Keller, Susan Wild, Chrissy Houlahan, Dwight Evans, Brendan Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, Suzanne Bonamici, Frank Lucas, Anthony Gonzalez, Mike Carey, Shontel Brown, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Joyce Beatty, Brad Wenstrup, Steve Chabot, Chris Jacobs, Brian Higgins, Joe Morelle, John Katko, Claudia Tenney, Elise Stefanik, Sean Maloney, Nicole Malliotakis, Kathleen Rice, Andrew Garbarino, Lee Zeldin, Dina Titus, Teresa Leger Fernandez, Mikie Sherrill, Don Payne, Jr., Bill Pascrell, Jr., Albio Sires, Tom Malinowski, Frank Pallone, Jr., Joshua Gottheimer, Andy Kim, Jeff Van Drew, Chris Pappas, Donald Bacon, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, John Larson, Doug Lamborn, Diana DeGette, Scott Peters, Juan Vargas, Darrell Issa, Mike Levin, Michelle Steel, Alan Lowenthal, Mark Takano, Raul Ruiz, Grace Napolitano, Brad Sherman, Adam Schiff, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Anna Eshoo, Jim Costa, Eric Swalwell, Jackie Speier, Mark DeSaulnier, Jerry McNerney, Ami Bera, Doris Matsui, Mike Thompson, Jared Huffman, Greg Stanton, Debbie Lesko, Raul Grijalva, Tom O'Halleran, Rick Crawford, Mo Brooks, Mike Rogers, Marilyn Strickland
Date: April 29, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Chairman Cartwright and Ranking Member Aderholt,

As you begin to craft the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriation bill for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), we urge you to include increased funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program.

The Byrne JAG and COPS programs are the cornerstone of our federal justice assistance programs. Together, these grants are critical to ensuring state and local law enforcement have the training, tools, and personnel necessary to serve their communities. Since their inception, Byrne JAG and COPS grants have enabled law enforcement agencies to better protect their communities and promote community policing initiatives that form vital bonds between officers and those they serve.

The strength of the Byrne JAG program is in its broad impact across the criminal justice system. Byrne JAG funds are used in states and localities across the country for a variety of important initiatives, including improved tools and technologies, crime prevention and education, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, alternatives to incarceration, prosecution and indigent defense, crime victim services, recidivism reduction programs designed to stop the cycle of crime, and trainings to improve community policing efforts.

The COPS programs provide invaluable resources to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training to community members and local law enforcement. Since 1994, the COPS office has allocated more than $14 billion to local departments to help advance community policing. Increased funding is critical to ensuring that law enforcement has the resources necessary to continue these important community policing efforts that build bonds and make our communities safer.

These programs provide critical federal dollars to build upon successful crime reduction efforts and ensure officers maintain strong relationships with their communities. As many police departments across our nation continue to confront worsening gun violence, the importance of ensuring our federal policing grants are robustly funded is all the more crucial.

Support for the Byrne JAG and COPS programs is imperative to the safety of our communities and continued efforts to improve policing in our nation, yet funding for both programs have seen cuts over the past twelve years and must be restored to previous levels.

For these reasons, we respectfully request that you include increased funding for the Byrne JAG and COPS Hiring Programs in FY23.