May 18 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced four bipartisan bills co-sponsored by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) to support law enforcement. 

“Many North Carolinians are in our nation’s capital this week to commemorate National Police Week, and I am glad to work across the aisle to pass meaningful legislation that supports the brave men and women in blue who protect our communities,” said Senator Tillis. “I look forward to making sure these bipartisan bills become law soon, and I will continue to work to advance other critical bills, like the Protect and Serve Act, to send a strong message to criminals who target and assault law enforcement.” 

The four bills that unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today:

The Recruit and Retain Act

This legislation addresses the recruitment and hiring challenges that law enforcement agencies across the country have been experiencing through the Department of Justice COPS Program by allowing the program to cover certain new hiring costs, such as administrative cost and psych evaluations, which are important for background investigations of prospective officers. The legislation also authorizes a new Pipeline Partnership Program within COPS to foster interest in law enforcement careers among local youth by collaborating with schools. 

Project Safe Neighborhoods Reauthorization Act of 2023

This legislation reauthorizes the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which is a law enforcement program aimed at reducing violent crime. It serves to develop a partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement, and to build community trust and partnerships.

COPS on the Beat Grant Program Parity Act of 2023

This legislation reauthorizes the COPS on the Beat Program and codifies the independent status of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) within the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Strong Communities Act of 2023

This legislation amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to allow COPS grant recipients the ability to use the funding for local law enforcement recruits to attend schools or academies if the recruits agree to serve in precincts of law enforcement agencies in their communities. This does not create new spending, but will carve out funding from the COPS grant program.