H. R. 6375

To permit COPS grants to be used for the purpose of increasing the compensation and hiring of law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.

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117 HR 6375 IH: COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022

U.S. House of Representatives

2022-01-12

text/xml

EN

Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, this file is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain.

I

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6375

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 12, 2022

Mr. Rice of South Carolina

(for himself,

Ms. Spanberger

,

Ms. Herrera Beutler

,

Mr. Golden

,

Mr. Chabot

,

Mrs. Murphy of Florida

,

Mr. Owens

,

Mr. Kind

,

Mr. Katko

,

Mr. Cuellar

, and

Mrs. Kim of California

) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To permit COPS grants to be used for the purpose of increasing the compensation and hiring of law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the

COPS on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022

.

2.

Findings; sense of Congress

(a)

Findings

The Congress finds the following:

(1)

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing highlighted the importance of hiring law enforcement officers who reflect the diversity and values of the community, and who have both the mindset and the skills needed to engage with the community.

(2)

Diverse workforces can be more effective, creative, and resilient than homogenous workforces, and teams with broader perspectives result in better decision-making and problem-solving practices. Recruiting a diverse pool of candidates includes qualified individuals from different races, genders, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds.

(3)

Effective law enforcement recruitment practices can help engender trust, develop good relations with their communities, and ensure that the officers they hire can best serve those communities. Recruitment efforts should start in the community, and law enforcement agencies should consider developing youth programs to attract younger generations. This could include Explorer programs, internships through local schools, cadet academies, university partnerships, and youth mentorship programs that foster relationships between young adults and departments. Not only do these programs develop enthusiasm for a law enforcement career, they can also build relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

(b)

Sense of congress

It is the sense of Congress that the COPS Office is uniquely suited to empower local law enforcement agencies to fulfill recommendations related to law enforcement hiring practices, including agencies being reflective of the communities they serve, both demographically and in values and vision, and possessing the mindset and skills needed to engage with the community.

3.

Reauthorization of COPS on the Beat grant programs

(a)

Reauthorization of COPS on the beat grant program

Section 1001(a)(11)(A) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (

34 U.S.C. 10261(a)(11)(A)

) is amended by striking

for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009

and inserting

for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2031

.

4.

Rural community access to COPS grants

(a)

Uses of grant amounts

Section 1701(b) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (

34 U.S.C. 10381(b)

) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (23) as paragraphs (4) through (24), respectively;

(2)

by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:

(3)

in the case of any State or unit of local government that has a median household income of less than 70 percent of the national median household income and qualifies for a reduced contribution under subsection (g)(2), to increase wages of career law enforcement officers to not more than 80 percent of the national median household income;

; and

(3)

in paragraph (23), as redesignated, by striking

through (21)

and inserting

through (22)

.

(b)

Preferential consideration

Section 1701(c) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (

34 U.S.C. 10381(c)

) is amended—

(1)

by striking paragraph (1); and

(2)

by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively.

(c)

Cost share

Section 1701(g) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (

34 U.S.C. 10381(g)

) is amended to read as follows:

(g)

Matching funds

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the portion of the costs of a program, project, or activity provided by a grant under subsection (a) may not exceed 75 percent, unless the Attorney General waives, wholly or in part, the requirement under this subsection of a non-Federal contribution to the costs of a program, project, or activity. In relation to a grant for a period exceeding 1 year for hiring or rehiring or increasing the compensation of career law enforcement officers, the Federal share shall decrease from year to year for up to 5 years, looking toward the continuation of the increased hiring and compensation level using State or local sources of funding following the conclusion of Federal support, as provided in an approved plan pursuant to section 1702(c)(8).

(2)

Reduced non-federal contribution

(A)

In general

The portion of the costs of a program, project, or activity provided by a grant under subsection (a), in any State or unit of local government described in subparagraph (B), may not exceed—

(i)

90 percent for the first year of the grant;

(ii)

85 percent for the second year of the grant;

(iii)

80 percent for the third year of the grant; and

(iv)

75 percent for the fourth year of the grant.

(B)

State or unit of local government described

A State or unit of local government described in this subparagraph is any State or unit of local government—

(i)

with a median household income that is not more than 80 percent of the national median household income;

(ii)

that does not provide a single employee with compensation that is more than double the national median household income; and

(iii)

that is a rural State, rural community, or rural area as such terms are defined in section 40002(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (

34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(26)(A)

) is amended.

.

(d)

Limitation on hiring and rehiring

Section 1704(c) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (

34 U.S.C. 10384(c)

) is amended to read as follows:

(c)

Hiring and compensation cost

(1)

In general

Funding provided under this part for hiring or rehiring a career law enforcement officer may not exceed $75,000, unless the Attorney General grants a waiver from this limitation.

(2)

Reduced contribution

In the case of a jurisdiction that qualifies for a reduced contribution under section 1701(g)(2), a career law enforcement officer who is hired or rehired or whose compensation is increased under this part may not receive from any funding provided under this part compensation exceeding 80 percent of the national median household income for work performed as an on-duty law enforcement officer.

.

(e)

Allocation of COPS grant program funds

Section 1001(a)(11)(B) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (

34 U.S.C. 10261(a)(11)(B)

) is amended by inserting after the second sentence the following:

If funds remain available for obligation under this subparagraph in a fiscal year after all eligible and qualified grantees have been funded from the 50 percent of funding allocated for grants pursuant to applications submitted by units of local government or law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction over areas with populations exceeding 150,000 or by public and private entities that serve areas with populations exceeding 150,000, the remaining funds may be used for grants pursuant to applications submitted by units of local government or law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction over areas with populations 150,000 or less or by public and private entities that serve areas with populations 150,000 or less.

.

(f)

Definitions

Section 1709 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (

34 U.S.C. 10389

) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(8)

Attorney General

means the Attorney General, acting through the COPS Director.

.

5.

COPS office

(a)

COPS program

Section 1701(a) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (

34 U.S.C. 10381(a)

) is amended to read as follows:

(a)

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

(1)

In general

There is within the Department of Justice, under the general authority of the Attorney General, a separate and distinct office to be known as the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (referred to in this subsection as the

COPS Office

).

(2)

Director

The COPS Office shall be headed by a Director who shall—

(A)

be appointed by the Attorney General; and

(B)

have final authority over grants under this part and any other grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts awarded by the COPS Office.

.

6.

GAO report

In fiscal year 2026 and fiscal year 2031, the Comptroller General of the United States, after consultation with the Attorney General, shall submit to Congress and make publicly available a report that provides national averages and averages for department characteristic subgroups including at least size of police and sheriff departments and urban or rural designations by jurisdiction detailing—

(1)

a measure of how representative the existing workforce of the average police and sheriff departments is to the community served based on demographics which include at least gender and race;

(2)

the percentage of those employed by the average police and sheriff departments that live in the jurisdiction in which they are currently employed;

(3)

a measure of average officer pay in police and sheriff departments compared to cost of living in the jurisdiction in which they are currently employed; and

(4)

legislative and administrative recommendations for improving the percentage of officers that live in the jurisdiction in which they are employed and how representative the law enforcement agency is of the community it serves.