WASHINGTON—U.S. Reps. Stephanie Murphy, Val Demings, and Darren Soto today applauded news that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded nearly $4 million to law enforcement agencies in Central Florida to help keep families safe. The funding is provided through the DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program, which helps state and local law enforcement agencies reduce crime by supporting community policing strategies and allowing them to hire more uniformed officers. The program will award $2.5 million to the Orange County Sheriff's Office to hire 20 officers and $1.25 million for the City of Orlando to hire 10 officers.
“We owe our law enforcement officers a debt of gratitude for putting their lives on the line to protect us. That’s why I’ve fought to ensure federal programs that support good and hardworking law enforcement officers receive the funding they need to keep Central Florida safe,” said Murphy. “I’m particularly proud to have backed this successful grant application so that Central Florida can hire and train 30 new police officers who will be focused on building stronger ties to groups within our community and prioritize de-escalation techniques. I’ll continue to support the brave men and women whose job it is to protect and serve all Central Floridians.”
“As public servants, we have an obligation to provide safe neighborhoods for all persons. As a former OPD chief, I saw a simple equation: to have safe communities, we need to devote resources to protect them,” said Demings. “Law enforcement agencies must have staffing and resources to put law enforcement officers where they’re needed most. This federal grant, which will fund 30 new police officers in our community, is an important step to ensure that every neighborhood in Central Florida is safer.”
Murphy has made federal support for local law enforcement one of her top priorities in Congress and has strongly opposed efforts to “defund the police.” Earlier this year, she supported a bipartisan effort to the House Appropriations Committee urging it to provide sufficient funding for the COPS grant program. In addition, she wrote a letter in March to the U.S. Department of Justice in support of the Orlando Police Department’s application for a COPS grant.