WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter sent today to Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) expressed concern over the implementation of the Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Recovery Program included in the economic recovery package. Brown emphasized how funding for the program is essential for hiring and rehiring law enforcement officers to keep communities safe. The full text of the letter can be found below.
June 17, 2009
Hon. Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Dear Attorney General Holder:
I am writing to express my concern regarding the pace of implementation of funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) as provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).
In these difficult economic times, many local communities are faced with significant budget shortfalls, forcing cutbacks in law enforcement hiring. CHRP provides crucial assistance to local communities for hiring and rehiring career law enforcement officers. ARRA provides $1 billion in funding for COPS programs, and effective disbursement of these funds is critical to ensuring communities have the resources they need to keep their neighborhoods safe.
In March, President Obama traveled to Ohio to announce these funds and stated that the Department would begin disbursement within 15 days of receipt of applications. However, the Department’s recently released program-specific information indicates that the planned date for completion of the awards process is late December. I have heard from several law enforcement agencies in my state that this delay poses an additional burden on local budgets and will postpone the hiring of critical law enforcement personnel.
I urge you to take all necessary steps to complete the CHRP awards process in a timely manner.
United States Senate