WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), the first Delaware Senator in more than four decades to serve on the critical Appropriations Committee, secured funding for critical law enforcement priorities, including support for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership, Children’s Advocacy Centers, Missing and Exploited Children programs, and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program in the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee today with bipartisan support.
“Serving on the Appropriations Committee is an honor, but it’s also a unique opportunity that allows me to fight for funding and programs that are important to Delaware,” said Senator Coons. “As Chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, I’m particularly proud that I was able to secure funding for important programs like the COPS program and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership that keep our men and women of law enforcement safe, and I’m very glad that we also secured funds for Children’s Advocacy Centers and Missing and Exploited Children programs that help children and families who have endured the unthinkable.”
Senator Coons fought for the $25 million appropriation to the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCAA) which helps funds Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) in the United States. Delaware has three CACs, one in each county. Delaware’s CACs served over 1,600 children and conducted more than 1,500 forensic interviews last year. VOCAA is supported by the National Association of Police Organizations, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the National Criminal Justice Training Center, Major Cities Chiefs’ Association, the National Children’s Alliance, the National Children’s Advocacy Center, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department, and the National Child Protection Training Center.
Senator Coons also fought for $76 million to fund Missing and Exploited Children programs across the country and in Delaware. A portion of this funding will be dedicated to investing in the technology needed to pace the evolving threat against children and will be used to assist law enforcement in protecting child victims of trafficking and sexual abuse.
This appropriations bill also supports numerous programs that Delaware’s law enforcement has come to rely on. Senator Coons, co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, fought for $25 million in funding for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership. Since 1999, the BVP program has provided over $350 million in federal funds for over 1.3 million vests.
Additionally, the Senate committee supported more than $235 million dollars in funding for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Community policing begins with a commitment to building trust and mutual respect between police and communities. It is critical to public safety, ensuring that all stakeholders work together to address crime in our communities. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.