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08/10/2022 04:24 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20210&cosponId=37081
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 23, 2022 10:04 AM
From: Senator Doug Mastriano and Sen. Devlin J. Robinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Establishment of the “Law Enforcement Recovery Grant Program”
 
In the near future, we will introduce legislation that allocates $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds to create the “Law Enforcement Recovery Grant Program.”

COVID-19 and the ensuing shutdowns had effects that reverberated across all sectors of our society. Pennsylvania’s law enforcement agencies were certainly not immune to these difficulties and are confronting a significant crisis when it comes to the recruitment and retention of new officers.

Agencies in urban, suburban, and rural parts of Pennsylvania currently face significant officer vacancies that are projected to continue to worsen with increasing retirements and a tight labor market in the wake of the pandemic.

Compounding the issue of recruitment and retention is the rise in violent crime in Pennsylvania. According to the latest FBI crime statistics, Pennsylvania has had the third highest increase in violent crimes in the entire nation since 2019.

In addition to the uptick in violent crime, drug trafficking has accelerated, and the proliferation of deadly drugs such as fentanyl continue to overwhelm communities.  

For these reasons, we are proposing the establishment of the “Law Enforcement Recovery Grant Program” to ensure our police departments have the resources to properly serve our communities and ultimately save lives.

Law enforcement agencies will have the opportunity to apply for grant funding to address the following critical needs:
 
  • Strategies and incentives to attract new recruits
  • Strategies and incentives to retain current officers
  • Wellness initiatives for law enforcement to mitigate the significant mental and physical impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Investments in technology and equipment to allow law enforcement to respond to the rise in violent crime due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Collaborative responses to violent crime and violence related to drug trafficking resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
The grant program will be administered by the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) who will determine awards for applicant departments. Any law enforcement agency that receives a grant award will be required to report to PCCD explaining how the grant money was used. PCCD will be required to issue a report that includes the total number of law enforcement agencies that applied for the grant program, total number of agencies that received a grant, and a summary of how each agency will use the grant money awarded.

Please consider joining us in co-sponsoring this legislation to safeguard our communities and support out police.
 
 



Introduced as SB1193