As recent events have demonstrated, good relations between police and the public are vital to our safety and well-being. That is why, as the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) celebrates its 20th anniversary, we celebrate with both pride in our contributions to the nation’s safety and renewed commitment to the work that remains to be done.
We’ve accomplished a great deal since 1994, when Attorney General Janet Reno established the COPS Office in the U.S. Department of Justice to support the goals of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have made vast progress through adoption of community policing strategies for positive, proactive engagement with the public.
More than $14 billion invested
Over the past 20 years, we’ve funded thousands of programs for state, local, and tribal police departments; explored critical social issues through research and forums; and provided widespread support through training, technical assistance, exploratory forums, and a wide variety of publications.
COPS Office funding, which totals more than $14 billion to date, has had a tremendous impact. Besides adding 125,000 officers to our country’s streets and many thousands of support personnel to state, local, and tribal police departments, these funds have enhanced crime fighting technology, supported crime prevention initiatives, and provided training and technical assistance to more than 700,000 law enforcement personnel, community members, and government leaders. To date, the COPS Office has funded programs for more than 70 percent of the nation’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies.
Millions of publications, forums, and training programs
Simply putting more law enforcement officers on the street and personnel in the precinct is not enough to fight crime. The COPS Office has supported knowledge-based prevention and problem solving with the distribution of more than two million topic-specific publications, training curricula, white papers, and resource CDs. Written by law enforcement professionals and subject matter experts, they explore a wide range of subjects such as policing in the new economy, hate crime prevention, and procedural justice.
The COPS Office also brings these professionals together in forums to explore topics of national concern. One such forum focused on strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. Held in 2014, it brought more than 75 law enforcement officials together with civil right activists, academic experts, policy makers, and community leaders to explore solutions.
Partners who made the difference
To be sure, the COPS Office has made a significant, measurable difference in promoting the safety of communities throughout the United States. But we did not accomplish these things alone. The intention of this celebration is not only to reflect upon past achievements and renew commitments to future goals but also to thank those who made our accomplishments possible: the thousands of chiefs, sheriffs, line officers, associations, civic leaders, researchers, and other stakeholders, without whom we could not have made any progress.
We also honor the efforts of Vice President Joseph Biden, who wrote the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 while serving in the U.S. Senate and the 103rd Congress, which passed it.
Looking into the future
We still have much to accomplish. Even as old problems are solved, social, political, technological, and economic changes will present new challenges. But with the help of our many supporters, we will address every issue with the best training, expert information, and the highest dedication to the principles of community policing. We welcome everybody who wants to join us in these efforts
For more information, please visit their website: www.cops.usdoj.gov