American Law Enforcement Heroes Act incentivizes law enforcement agencies to hire military veterans

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn announced that their bipartisan legislation to encourage law enforcement agencies to hire veterans has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, paving the way for a full vote in the Senate. The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act prioritizes the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant applications of law enforcement agencies who use that funding to hire veterans. The COPS program awards grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States so they can hire and train law enforcement officers to participate in community policing, purchase and deploy new crime-fighting technologies, and develop and test new and innovative policing strategies.

“Our veterans are able to perform complex duties under extreme pressure and danger, and when they return home, they should be able to use these battle-tested skills to secure a good job,” Klobuchar said. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to passing this bipartisan legislation that creates employment opportunities for veterans and helps strengthen local police departments.”

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Chris Coons (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Todd Young (R-IN).

In February, Klobuchar and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the COPS Improvement Act that would provide for the hiring of more police officers and expand the COPS program to account for developments in community policing techniques that have proven effective in preventing and fighting crime. The senators also sent a letter to the President about the importance of this law enforcement program in conjunction with the bill’s introduction.