Legislation Providing $310 Million to Support and Train Police Officers Clears Senate Hurdle

Last year, Maine received more than $1.2 million through the COPS program to combat the opioid epidemic, hire additional officers, and support community policing

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $310 million – an increase of $34.5 million – for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office as part of the fiscal year 2019 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.  This includes $32 million for the COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force Program, which helps state law enforcement agencies investigate unlawful activities related to the heroin and opioids epidemic. Senator Collins is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee.  The bill, which was advanced by a vote of 30-1, will now be considered by the full Senate.

 

“This investment represents a strong commitment to the men and women who are fighting crime and protecting our communities every day,” said Senator Collins. “In addition, with the opioid epidemic continuing to affect far too many families across the country, this funding will help provide law enforcement with the tools and resources required to investigate drug traffickers and pursue illegal activity.”

 

The COPS Office awards grants to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement.  Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.

 

Last year, the COPS Office awarded $525,569 to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) through their Anti-Heroin Task Force Program.  Maine was one of only eight states to receive this highly competitive award to combat the opioid epidemic.  Additionally, Maine received $500,000 in 2017 through the COPS Hiring Program to hire additional police officers.  The state also received $209,219 through the COPS Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation Program to expand the implementation of community policing and meet the needs of law enforcement in Tribal Nations.