The Troops to COPS program was designed to encourage the hiring of recently separated military veterans to serve as law enforcement officers. The ultimate goal of the program was to ease the transition of eligible members of the armed forces into community policing across the nation.
The one-year Troops to COPS grants reimbursed agencies up to $25,000 per veteran to defray the cost of hiring eligible veterans as law enforcement officers. The program was designed to complement the COPS Universal Hiring Program (UHP), which funds 75 percent of an officer's 3-year entry-level salary and benefits, up to a maximum of $75,000. Under Troops to COPS, agencies that hired eligible veterans with their UHP grants were eligible to receive additional funding for academy and field training, supplemental community policing training, uniforms, and basic-issue equipment.
The 1995 Troops to COPS program allowed agencies to hire 500 veterans. In 1999, Troops to COPS grants were awarded to 259 agencies, benefiting nearly 500 veterans. Funding was made available through appropriations from the U.S. Department of Defense. No funding is currently available for this program.