Earlier this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced $98,495,397 in grant funding through the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP), as first reported by the Department of Justice. Sessions announced funding awards to 179 law enforcement agencies across the country, which will allow those agencies to hire 802 additional full-time enforcement officers.

The COPS Office awards grants to hire community policing officers, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“’Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration. I continue to encourage every jurisdiction in America to collaborate with federal law enforcement and help us make this country safer.’”

 

In September, the Justice Department announced additional priority consideration criteria for FY2017 COPS Office grants. Applicants were notified that their application would receive additional points in the application scoring process by certifying their willingness to cooperate with federal immigration authorities within their detention facilities.

Cooperation may include providing access to detention facilities for an interview of aliens in the jurisdiction’s custody and providing advance notice of an alien’s release from custody upon request. Eighty percent of the awarded agencies received additional points based on their certifications of willingness to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Cooperating with federal immigration authorities is important for our country in order to keep citizens safe and successful. Attorney General Session’s idea to reward these cities for adhering to national law is a great way to keep these cities safe and hopefully get other cities to fall in line. Although all cities should already be cooperating with the federal immigration authorities, these incredible grants will entice all cities to step and take action.