05.14.15

Congresswoman Lee Introduces Resolution to Support the COPS Program & Police Force Diversity

Washington, D.C. – Last week, in celebration of National Police Week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced a Congressional resolution supporting community-oriented policing and encouraging greater diversity in law enforcement.

“Following the recent high-profile deaths of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers, more Americans have come to understand the need for real criminal justice reform, greater police force diversity and stronger community-oriented and focused policing strategies,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Addressing the systemic racial biases endemic in our criminal justice system will require serious structural reforms to ensure justice for all. This resolution is a small step in the direction to ensure equal justice for all before the law.”

The resolution calls on Congress to commit to ensuring adequate and needed resources for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.

“Community-oriented policing strategies are a proven and effective way to reduce crime and build greater trust between law enforcement and our communities,” said Congresswoman Lee. “It is clear that our nation must rethink our policing and criminal justice strategies. The best way to make our communities safer is by restoring trust in local law enforcement. The first step is to invest in community policing so law enforcement can build strong community relationships, especially in communities of color.”

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lee has long supported strong investments in the COPS program.  Last year, she announced $3.375 million in COPS funding for three jurisdictions in the 13th Congressional district, creating and preserving 27 law enforcement jobs.

Additionally, Congresswoman Lee’s resolution calls for the Department of Justice to support local law enforcement officials with best practices to recruit and retain a more diverse police force.

“Local law enforcement should reflect and understand the communities in which they serve. Increasing police force diversity is critical to building trust and advancing community understanding in law enforcement,” added Congresswoman Lee.

The resolution is H. Res. 262.