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Police Work: What Is the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services?

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Jun 2015 07:52 PM

The U.S. Department of Justice implemented the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) in 1994 to uphold President Bill Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.

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The COPS office supports community oriented policing strategies throughout the country and attempts to foster mutual trust and respect between police forces and their communities.

The COPS office has invested over $14 billion in community oriented policing programs for state, local, and tribal police departments nationwide.

The office offers numerous grants and funding opportunities to police departments on a varying competitive basis. These funding opportunities support a range of programs from hiring cops to anti-gang and anti-drug initiatives.

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In 2011, the COPS office launched the Secure Our Schools (SOS) grant program in which police departments in various U.S. cities including Baltimore, Memphis, San Diego, and Colorado Springs, partnered with school systems to promote safety.

SOS provided metal detectors, lighting, and locks to public schools, introduced security training to students and faculty, and produced security assessments.

The COPS SOS summary submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed that the program was successful in reducing violence and crime in schools.

Despite the alleged success of the SOS program, some still remain skeptical about the COPS office’s usefulness.

In 2014, Ronald L. Davis, COPS office director, spoke with the Office of the U.S. Attorney regarding reports of police brutality in Baltimore City’s Police Department.

Davis claimed that the COPS office would work with the department over the next 30 months to prevent future issues. Davis also called the event “very productive,” reported the Baltimore Sun.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her testimony asking the Senate to renew the U.S. Justice Department’s budget, acknowledged the recent 2015 police riots in Baltimore and admitted that the COPS office efforts in Baltimore have fallen short of expectations.

“The city has made significant strides in their collaborative reform efforts with the Community Oriented Policing Services Office, I have not ruled out the possibility that more may need to be done,” said Attorney General Lynch.

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The U.S. Department of Justice implemented the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) in 1994 to uphold President Bill Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.
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2015-52-03
Wednesday, 03 Jun 2015 07:52 PM
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