NYS Senator calls for more COPS funding

Around New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As crime increases throughout the nation and New York, there’s been different ideas on how to handle the problem. 

“On the issue of crime and gun violence, this is a national phenomenon. But, New York is a place of leadership. We do have to reimagine policing,” Governor Cuomo said on Wednesday. 

Following the murder of George Floyd, New York State instituted several policing reforms. And, Governor Cuomo required all local police departments to submit plans to ‘reinvent’ policing or lose state funding. With the recent spike in shootings, he’s declared a gun violence state of emergency.

Many Republicans and district attorneys have blamed the uptick in certain crimes on criminal justice reforms. And, while some progressive groups have called to de-fund police, Republican Senator Joseph Griffo has sent a letter to President Biden and Congress asking the federal government to increase funding to the Community Oriented Policing Services or COPS program, which started in the 90s under President Bill Clinton. “This program was developed, the COPS program, which would put more police officers on the street immediately… These grants were given to local governments and then they had to sustain the employee after so many years,” Griffo said.

Griffo says when the program began it was allocated about $1.4 billion. But, for the 2021 fiscal year it received less than $400 million. President Biden has asked for about $650 million to go towards it for 2022, but Griffo would like that number to be larger.

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