Tester Secures More Than $1 Billion in Critical Funding for Law Enforcement in Government Funding Bill
Senator was only member of Montana delegation to support legislation
As a part of his continued effort to support Montana law enforcement and keep communities safe in the Treasure State, U.S. Senator Jon Tester secured more than $1 billion in critical funding for local, state, and federal law enforcement and public safety programs in annual legislation to fund the federal government.
“Montana’s law enforcement does a top-notch job of keeping our communities safe, and it’s critical they have the resources they need to get the job done,” said Tester. “Increasing funding for these agencies was a no-brainer, and will help our brave officers better serve Montanans day in and day out. I’m proud to have worked across the aisle to secure these responsible, targeted resources, and I know that the folks in the Treasure State will be better off because of it.”
Tester secured funding through the bipartisan “omnibus” funding package, which passed the senate in a 68-31 vote. Tester was the only member of the Montana delegation to support the legislation.
“This bill provides additional resources for law enforcement officers in Montana and across the West. Increasing funding for programs like Byrne JAG, COPS, and HIDTA will help keep communities safe, get dangerous drugs off our streets, and ensure that police officers can quickly and safely be there when needed,” said Leo Dutton, Sheriff of Lewis and Clark County, Past President of the Western States Sheriffs’ Association, and board member of the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. “I thank Senator Tester for supporting this critical funding and look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure police officers have the funding and tools they need to do their job.”
Included in Tester’s legislation is:
- $647.5 million for Byrne JAG, a $190.5 million increase for the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local law enforcement
- $512 million for Community Oriented Policing (COPS), a $126 million increase to support local and community policing efforts
- $246 million for COPS hiring
- $15 million for the COPS anti-meth task force
- $31.5 million for COPS Tribal law enforcement programs
- $8 million for officer mental health and wellness
- $30 million for bullet proof vest
- $8 million for rural law enforcement needs
- $42 million for the regional information sharing system (RISS)
- $50 million to help state and local law enforcement agencies combat cybercrime
- $297 million for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Programs (HIDTA drug taskforces), a $7 million increase
- $90 million for Operation Stonegarden to support local law enforcement agencies that support DHS border security operations
- $78.6 million to improve emergency communications systems, including a $47.6 million increase for Next Generation Networks, and $20 million to integrate Next Generation 911 programs
- $720 million for FEMA fire fighter grant programs, including $360 million for AFG and $360 million for SAFER
- $151 million for DNA-related and forensic programs, including $15 million for state and local forensic activities
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester has been a tireless advocate for Montana law enforcement, and has pushed for increased Byrne JAG program funding every year with bipartisan support. He is also pushing for additional funding for Montana law enforcement in his bipartisan Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking Officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act to combat drug trafficking.