Kuster pushes legislation to support New Hampshire law enforcement
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) is pushing for legislation to support the hiring and retention of law enforcement officers in New Hampshire and across the country. Throughout the Granite State, police departments face a workforce shortage and national trends show at least a 30% increase in officer retirements. To help address these challenges, Kuster is advocating for the passage of the Retain COPS Act and the Pathways to Policing Act, which would provide critical resources to retain law enforcement officers and fund recruitment initiatives.
“New Hampshire’s law enforcement officers go above and beyond the call of duty every day to protect our communities,” said Rep. Kuster. “Throughout our state, the tight labor market is making hiring employees difficult and that extends to the field of law enforcement. It’s critical that our police departments have the personnel to effectively serve our communities and keep their officers safe on the job. I’m proud to back the Retain COPS Act and the Pathways to Policing Act which would help keep officers on the force and recruit a diverse new generation of law enforcement. I urge House Leadership to bring these bipartisan pieces of legislation up for a vote as soon as possible.”
“In Cheshire County and in police departments throughout New Hampshire, staffing has been a real challenge,” said Cheshire County Sheriff Rivera. “Our officers work around the clock to protect our streets and when we’re short-staffed that puts a real burden on our law enforcement officers. It’s critical that we not only keep the officers we have but also work to bring on new officers who can strengthen our presence and on-the-ground relationships in the communities we serve. The legislation that Rep. Kuster is calling for today would provide important tools for police departments to address the serious need for officer retention and recruitment. I appreciate Rep. Kuster’s efforts to support New Hampshire’s law enforcement community and look forward to working with her to push these bills over the finish line.”
H.R.7250, the Retain COPS Act would make changes to the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program by allowing the program to be used for salary increases to retain law enforcement officers.
H.R.7826, the Pathways to Policing Act would provide $50 million to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to operate nationwide recruitment campaigns for law enforcement officers. It would also provide $50 million to operate a “Pathways to Policing” program supported by local and statewide marketing and recruiting campaigns. These campaigns will encourage members of communities traditionally underrepresented in the field of law enforcement or who have non-traditional educational or career backgrounds to seek employment in law enforcement.