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NO. R-144. JOINT RESOLUTION expressing appreciation to U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and James Jeffords for their support of the federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.

(J.R.S. 58)

Offered by: Committee on Judiciary.

Whereas, in 1994, Congress enacted the federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and

Whereas, the intent of this program is to expand the presence of law enforcement officers on the streets of the nation’s cities and towns, and

Whereas, as a result of the COPS program, more than 115,000 new community police officers have been hired and are now patrolling, by foot and bicycle, on beats across the country, and

Whereas, prior to enactment of this law, only four percent of law enforcement officers walked or bicycled their beats, and

Whereas, because of the COPS program, the percentage of street-based law enforcement officers has risen to 20 percent, and

Whereas, under COPS, municipalities are also eligible to receive funds for law enforcement technological improvements, and

Whereas, in Vermont, COPS money for personnel and technology has totaled $18,924,246.59 since 1996, and

Whereas, the COPS program has been the funding source for over 190 new street patrol positions in Vermont since 1996, and

Whereas, the state’s rural law enforcement services have been improved because small towns, which lack police departments, have been able to utilize federal COPS funding to contract for the public safety protection services of either the state police or a county sheriff’s department, and

Whereas, Vermont’s law enforcement officials and municipal governments are enthusiastic supporters of COPS, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly expresses its appreciation to U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and James Jeffords for their support of the federal Community Oriented Policing Services program, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, James Jeffords, Tom Daschle and Trent Lott in Washington, D.C.