1997 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1600 (Committee Approved)

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COPS grant program

Item 438 #2h

Item 438 #2h

First Year - FY1997 Second Year - FY1998
Public Safety
Criminal Justice Services, Department of FY1997 $0 FY1998 $7,000,000 GF

Page 287, line 9, strike "$40,374,458" and insert "$47,374,458".
Page 289, after line 49, insert:
"H.  Out of this appropriation, $7,000,000 the second year from the general fund is authorized to assist localities with the 25 percent matching requirement for federal grant funds awarded by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program and to assist localities in assuming the costs of this program as federal funds diminish.  The General Assembly intends by this action to assist localities in adding 1,000 new police officer and sheriff's deputy positions and in continuing an additional 850 existing, federally funded police officer and sheriff's deputy positions.  Funds provided will (i) assist localities by providing the cash match requirement for such federal grants which may be awarded subsequent to July 1, 1997, and (ii) assist localities by assuming a portion of the costs for continuing this program as federal funds expire subsequent to July 1, 1997.  The Department of Criminal Justice Services shall provide quarterly reports to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees on the progress in implementing this program."

(This amendment establishes a program to aid localities in hiring up to 1,000, and retaining 850, police officers and deputy sheriffs by providing financial assistance to match federal funds available through the Community Oriented Policing Services program and to retain those positions by continuing state financial assistance as federal funds expire. Community policing stresses the importance of police-citizen cooperation and local solutions to crime control and order maintenance. The ultimate goal of community policing is to maintain public safety through better police work at the street level, while increasing the public's interaction and satisfaction with police services. Additional federal funding to hire up to 1,000 new local law enforcement officers will be available in fiscal year 1998, while federal funds will expire for existing police officer positions in the cities of Virginia Beach, Petersburg, Hampton and Newport News and the Town of Marion. Companion amendments in Item 433 and Item 435 provide fiscal and technical staff support for this program.)