PDs hurt by federal budget agreement

Public safety staffing and hiring grants are among the areas affected in the cuts, with one program losing $52 million

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON, DC — Struggling cities may find it harder to keep police stations and firehouses adequately staffed in the wake of the budget agreement reached by Republicans and Democrats earlier this week, according to a report.

The stop-gap spending bill – which will see about $38 billion slashed from spending for the year until Sept. 30 – .aims to enable the government to keep running until a wider budget plan is finalized.

Public safety staffing and hiring grants are among the areas affected in the cuts, according to The New York Times.

The COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) that helps cash-strapped cities hire officers was cut by $52 million, while changes made to the SAFER grant program for the fire service could render the program useless to many cities, the report said.

The reduction in CHRP funding means that the program will be able to pay for about 200 fewer officers this year than it did last year, when it funded the salaries of 1,388 officers.

Law enforcement agencies will be hit in other areas, too, under the budget agreement, with millions of dollars being cut from a range of programs.

The Department of Justice's State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance program will see a reduction of $415 million, while the State Homeland Security Grants (SHGP), the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and grants for public safety communications equipment will also see reduced funding.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, told the newspaper that the cuts come at “at a particularly daunting time for state and local agencies.”

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