Invest to Protect Act would Fund Mental Health Care; Training and Recruiting for Small Police Dpts.

May 9, 2023

S.1144, the Invest to Protect Act of 2023, would provide police departments with fewer than 200 sworn officers, across the country, with federal funds for mental health care, training, and recruiting.

The legislation would provide up to $50 million a year in federal funds for smaller police departments for a variety of needs, including training in officer safety, de-escalation, and domestic violence response.

United States Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) has expressed his support for the bill saying, "I'll tell you this: You won't make our communities safer by slashing budgets and defunding departments . . . That won't stop the violent criminals, gang members and terrorists, it won't stop the robberies and car thefts, or help us fight hate crimes and shoplifters . . . This bill will help recruit and retain the good cops, which will lead to stronger, safer communities."

A large number of police departments in New Jersey and across the country would be eligible to receive these funds. As reported by The Washington Post, nearly half of all local police departments in the U.S. have fewer than 10 officers, three-quarters of departments have fewer than 15 officers, and 90% of local police departments employ fewer than 50 sworn officers.

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