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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
“A 2017 University of Chicago report found that stimulus funding not only increased officers per capita in 2009, but also led to declines in reported UCR Part 1 crimes – violent crimes – of approximately five percent in subsequent years.”
– Director Phil Keith, NOBLE Conference, July 28, 2018.
The Department of Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has made fighting violent crime a top administration priority, and the COPS Office works directly with law enforcement agencies to put more officers on the streets through hiring grants. Director Keith, along with Chief C.J. Davis of the Durham (NC) Police Department and Chief Delma Noel-Pratt of the Miami Gardens (FL) Police Department, conducted a panel discussion for executives at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) Conference/CEO Symposium during the last weekend of July. The panel, on crime rate reduction and key agency performance indicators, included a collaborative discussion on crime reduction strategies, key indicators, and the role of community stakeholders.
Although crime rates began to decline in the early 1990s, during 2015 and 2016, violent crime increased dramatically, especially homicide, which increased by approximately 20%. The dramatic escalation in homicide and other violent crimes created great concern for the Attorney General and the entire Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ is confident that having more officers on the streets reduces violent crime, and this increased safety to citizens is demonstrated by research findings and by feedback from our law enforcement partners and community stakeholders.
Since its inception, the COPS Office has funded the hiring and redeployment of over 130,000 officers in 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. In 2009, COPS Office hiring funding resulted in 2.9 fewer violent crimes and 16.23 fewer property crimes per 100,000 residents in the year following officer hiring.1 In addition to hiring grants, the COPS Office annually funds state agencies and task forces to address the opioid and methamphetamine crisis. And in 2017, funding was awarded for the new Preparing for Active Shooter Situations (PASS) Training Program, which is designed to increase public safety through scenario-based training that prepares officers and other first responders to safely and effectively handle active shooter and violent threats.
Attorney General Sessions is working to reduce gun violence and violent crime in our communities through a number of executive orders. In 2017, he directed federal prosecutors to charge persons who lie in the firearms background check process, and supported stricter enforcement of the nation’s existing gun laws. The Attorney General recently announced 311 new Assistant US Attorney positions who will focus on violent crime enforcement across the country.
“The brave men and women of law enforcement work every day to protect our lives, and the COPS Office mission is to help provide support and funding to protect theirs.” – Director Keith
1. Steven Mello, “More COPS, Less Crime” (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2018), http://www.princeton.edu/~smello/papers/cops.pdf.
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