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 For Immediate Release — Wednesday, September 13, 2000

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES $1.5 MILLION IN GRANTS UNDER THE VIDEO-TELECONFERENCING PROGRAM

Grants Provide Funding to 62 Local Agencies Nationwide

Washington DC - The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced $1.5 million in grants to fund the purchase of video-teleconferencing equipment by law enforcement agencies. These systems will assist State and local law enforcement in contacting the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and enable them to confirm the identification of illegal and criminal aliens in their custody.

"The Department of Justice is a proud partner with local law enforcement on crime-fighting techniques," said Attorney General Janet Reno. " These grants will connect law enforcement agencies to the INS so that our efforts to enforce the nation's immigration laws can be coordinated between the local and federal levels of government."

"Successful community policing often relies on a multi-level problem solving approach," said COPS Director Thomas C. Frazier. "COPS is committed to providing local law enforcement the tools they need to make technological advances within their departments. These video-teleconferencing grants will give local agencies greater access to the INS."

This funding will allow recipients the opportunity to establish and enhance a variety of technical equipment programs that will encourage the continuation of community policing efforts within their jurisdictions. COPS technology grants provide funding for the continued development of technologies and automated systems to assist State and local law enforcement agencies in investigating, responding to, and preventing crime.

The COPS program is the Administration's initiative to add 100,000 officers to the beat and advance community policing nation wide. Community policing is a crime fighting strategy that encourages law enforcement to work in partnership with the community to identify and reduce crime problems.

To date, the COPS program has funded more than 109,000 officers. President Clinton has proposed continuing the COPS program for an additional five years to add up to 50,000 more officers to local communities.

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