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Today, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced the bipartisan Invest to Protect Act to provide $250 million over the next five years to support small law enforcement agencies across the country. This funding will help them invest in training, equipment, mental health support and recruitment and retention. The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

“During my 99 county meetings, I’ve heard from local police departments about the difficulty they’ve had recruiting folks to be on the police force. We need to ensure our law enforcement agencies have the resources needed to recruit, train and retain police – especially as crime rates continue soaring across the country. Our Invest to Protect Act will send a clear message to police, including small police departments, that we have their backs,” Grassley said.

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 “Our local law enforcement agencies need more funding and support to keep Nevadans safe. My bipartisan bill would ensure that small agencies can easily access resources to provide training and mental health care for their officers, and to invest in recruitment and retention to help keep great officers on the streets. These small departments are the backbone of so many communities, and I’ll always work to get them what they need,” said Cortez Masto.

Over 90 percent of all police departments nationally have fewer than 200 full-time officers. In Iowa and across the country, these small departments often struggle to compete with larger ones for access to critical resources. The bipartisan Invest to Protect Act would establish a grant through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to provide $50 million per year for five years specifically to help local law enforcement agencies with fewer than 200 officers make meaningful investments in their officers and communities. The bill also requires a grant application process that can be completed within 30 minutes, so small agencies without dedicated grant-writing staff can access the funding.

This bill is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Sheriffs’ Association. Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and John Rutherford (R-Fla.) have introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley has repeatedly called for much-needed support for police as crime rates soar across the country. He has also asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to hold multiple hearings on the rise in violent crime.

Author: Press Release

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