May 5 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to increase access to funding for small law enforcement agencies in North Carolina and across the country. The Invest to Protect Act would set aside $250 million to help local police invest in training, mental health support, and recruitment and retention. 

“Our brave law enforcement officers deserve the best tools, equipment, and training to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Tillis. “I am proud to co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation to provide additional resources to local police departments and ensure police officers receive the support they need.” 

Over 90% of all police departments nationally have fewer than 200 full-time officers. In North Carolina 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 program 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 2 hours so that small agencies without dedicated grant-writing staff can access the funding.

This bill is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the National Sheriffs’ Association. Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and John Rutherford (R-FL) have introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.