EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 11:00 A.M. EDTNIJ
Thursday, September 7, 2000202/307-0703

PRESIDENT CLINTON'S COPS INITIATIVE HAS MET LEGISLATIVE MANDATES

Nation's Police Departments Pleased with Program's User-Friendly, Expeditious Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program has increased the number of officers deployed in America's communities, advanced the utilization of problem-solving policing, helped police departments provide their officers with new technology, and made it easier and quicker for police departments to apply for and receive grants. These findings are included in a national evaluation of the COPS program performed by the Urban Institute, and funded by the Justice Department's research and evaluation arm the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

"Community policing has been a major contributor to the decline in crime rates over the past seven years," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "The COPS office, through its hard work and innovative grant programs, has been a major catalyst in spreading the practice of community policing and advancing its use." The study reports that:

Because some officers will have departed before others begin service, the federally funded increase (based on awards through May 1999) in policing levels will peak in 2001 between 69,000 and 84,600 before falling to 62,700 and 83,900 in 2003.

"The Institute is proud of its efforts to sponsor program evaluations for major crime control programs," said NIJ Acting Director Julie Samuels. "This evaluation provides important findings as to how community policing has been implemented across the nation."

The study being released today covers roughly the first four years of the COPS program with primary focus on the COPS office's hiring and technology initiatives. The study released today reports on the findings through three of four survey "waves." Additional findings, such as updated statistics on the number of officers funded, will be available as other evaluation components are completed.

To obtain a copy of the 300-page study go to NIJ's Website: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij and click on "What's New." A 24-page Research in Brief, which highlights the study's key findings, is also available on NIJ's Website. Information about OJP is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

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