WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today introduced the COPS on the Beat Grant Program Parity Act to make it easier for law enforcement agencies in rural and low income areas to access Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant programs.
The legislation amends the COPS program to allow rural, lower income communities to use COPS hiring grant funding to increase law enforcement wages and puts all law enforcement agencies on a level playing field by removing the preference for agencies who can afford a higher match than required.
“Rural America has many challenges, policing among them,” said Graham. “This bill would increase access to much-needed grant money to assist rural law enforcement agencies in recruiting and retaining the brave men and women who wear the badge.”
The legislation has received support from a number of major law enforcement organizations, including Major County Sheriffs of America, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Fraternal Order of Police, National Sheriffs Association, and National Association of Police Organizations. Representative Tom Rice (R-South Carolina) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.