Daschle fights to restore COPS program funding Senator Tom Daschle said June 14 that he will fight to restore funding for COPS, the popular and successful crime prevention program that has helped to place two additional officers on duty in Clay County and one in Vermillion.
Daschle said he was extremely disappointed that Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee recently voted to cut funding for the Community Orientated Policing Services (COPS) program. Under the COPS program, South Dakota law enforcement agencies have been awarded over $18 million to support 270 additional officers.
"Thanks to the COPS program, many South Dakota communities, including Clay County and Vermillion, are now safer places to live, work and raise a family. The program has had so much success that it should be extended, not ended," Daschle said. "I will fight every step of the way to restore funding for this program."
The COPS program, administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, helps local police departments place additional officers in communities by providing them with federal funding to pay up to 75 percent of an officer's salary and benefits for three years.
"Having COPS officers on the beat increases public safety and helps to forge a positive relationship between law enforcement officials and community residents," Daschle said. "The program has also allowed several South Dakota communities to fight juvenile crime and drug abuse by placing full-time officers in schools. South Dakota communities cannot afford to lose this valuable and successful program."
In addition to fighting to restore funding for the COPS program, Daschle has introduced legislation to extend the COPS program's authorization. Unless Congress acts to renew it, the program will end in 2001.