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Judicial Watch

As police across the United States endure major funding cuts to placate the left, the federal government is dedicating tens of millions of dollars to advance nationwide “community policing efforts” that include tolerance, diversity, and anti-bias training as well as crisis intervention teams and de-escalation training. This week the Biden administration announced that it will award $33 million in grants to the initiative through a Department of Justice (DOJ) offshoot called Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) created by former President Bill Clinton to support “creative” approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities.

This is how COPS, which has received billions of taxpayer dollars over the years, defines community policing: “A philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.” Police can rarely solve public safety problems alone, according to COPS, which encourages interactive partnerships with relevant stakeholders. The so-called partnerships can be used to accomplish collaborative problem solving and improving public trust, according to COPS. “The public should play a role in prioritizing and addressing public safety problems,” the DOJ office writes in its extensive community policing report, which promotes critical changes in procedures, climate, culture, and leadership as well as decentralized decision making as part of its law enforcement model.

The Biden administration is committed to support and facilitate the costly—and questionable—initiative by funding programs that “keep the community at the heart of everything that the nation’s law enforcement agencies do on a daily basis.” That requires building relationships and increasing trust between police and those they serve, according to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, who announced the latest multi-million-dollar COPS grant this week. “The wide range of programs these funds will support – from de-escalation training and anti-bias efforts to technical assistance and accreditation programs – are critical to achieving our public safety goals,” the Attorney General said. He added that “it is particularly meaningful to announce these awards during National Community Policing Week, which recognizes the importance of community policing and the positive results we can achieve when law enforcement and community members work together.”

Here is a breakdown of how some of the taxpayer funds will be disbursed. Approximately $13 million will support the creation and delivery of national level de-escalation training efforts, as well as state and local law enforcement agency efforts to build and maintain their officers’ de-escalation proficiency. Over $9 million will go toward expansion of the use of crisis intervention teams to embed mental and behavioral health services with law enforcement. More than $1.7 million will be used for the creation and delivery of tolerance, diversity, and anti-bias training for law enforcement officers. Nearly $3 million will support pilot projects at local agencies that offer “creative ideas to advance crime fighting, community engagement, problem solving or organizational changes to support community policing.” Another $4 million will be dedicated to general community policing “accreditation” to ensure compliance with whatever “standards” the federal program has created.

Since Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno launched COPS in late 1994, it has doled out north of $14 billion to advance its agenda at law enforcement agencies that are supposed to be funded by state and local governments. The latest multi-million-dollar allocation comes at a time when police departments across the U.S. are being defunded as part of an increasingly powerful leftist movement ignited by George Floyd’s May 2020 death in Minneapolis. In the last year more than a dozen cities slashed police funding or decreased the number of officers, according to a probe conducted by a national news agency. They include the nation’s two largest cities—Los Angeles and New York—which eliminated $150 million and $1 billion respectively from their police budget. Other cities that drastically cut police funding include Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Baltimore, Portland, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia. Washington D.C. decreased its police budget by $15 million. Predictably, there has been a rise in crime and some cities are partially reversing police defunding, according to a mainstream newspaper story that reveals New York City’s leftist mayor, Bill de Blasio, plans to reinstate $92 million for a new precinct.

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