April 6, 2023

Young, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Local Law Enforcement Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would provide local law enforcement agencies with additional federal resources to hire more officers and make communities throughout America safer. The Invest to Protect Act would create a special grant program within the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to support hiring and resources for local law enforcement agencies with under 200 officers.

“Our police officers are on the front lines every day making sacrifices to protect Hoosiers,” said Senator Young. “Ninety percent of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. have less than 200 full-time sworn officers. This legislation would support these smaller, yet vital agencies by enabling them to hire more officers, retain current officers, invest in additional training, and ultimately keep our communities safer.”

The Invest to Protect Act further requires that the grant application take no longer than 30 minutes to complete, so applicants can spend their time protecting their communities instead of navigating bureaucratic red tape.

Additionally, the bill would allow grant funding to be used for a wide variety of purposes, including:

  • Officer safety, de-escalation, and domestic violence training, as well as funding to offset overtime pay when officers are in training.
  • Purchasing body-worn cameras, while also funding data storage and security for the footage. The program would assist small departments with privacy and storage standards by providing DOJ-created best practices that can be used in the absence of existing guidance from their local governments.
  • Efforts to recruit new officers, retain existing officers, and fund officers’ tuition for graduate studies in mental health, public health, and social work up to $10,000.
  • Evidence-based mental health services and resources for officers.

The bipartisan Invest to Protect Act of 2022 passed the Senate last year but the Senate-passed bill was not considered in the House of Representatives.