Senate Advances Tester’s Bipartisan Bills to Support Law Enforcement
His Invest to Protect Act and Law Enforcement De-Escalation Act passed the Senate by unanimous consent
As part of his aggressive push to combat crime and support public safety in communities across Montana, the U.S. Senate advanced two of Senator Tester’s bipartisan law enforcement bills—the Invest to Protect Act and the Law Enforcement De-Escalation Act—that would increase funding and resources for state, local, and Tribal police departments, including smaller departments in rural America.
“Our Montana police officers are heroes who put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect families across the Treasure State, and folks in Congress need to do our part to make sure they have the support they need to do their jobs,” Tester said.“These critical bills will not only make sure local law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to keep folks safe, but they’ll also invest in workforce training to properly address the mental health crises facing our communities.”
The Invest to Protect Act would create a new dedicated Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program for local and Tribal law enforcement agencies under 200 officers to provide training, purchase equipment, and recruit and retain officers. It would also streamline the applications process to under 30 minutes, so departments with limited staff can easily access critical funding. The Law Enforcement De-Escalation Act would establish training programs, curriculum, and grants for law enforcement agencies to train officers in de-escalation tactics to better respond to mental, behavioral, and suicidal crises.
The Invest to Protect Act and the Law Enforcement De-Escalation Act are supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Association of Police Organizations, National Criminal Justice Association, and National Associations of Counties.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester is a tireless advocate for Montana law enforcement. He recently secured more than $1 billion in critical funding for local, state, and federal law enforcement and public safety programs in the 2022 bipartisan “omnibus” funding package. Tester was the only member of the Montana delegation to support the bill, which included $512 million for COPS programs, a $126 million increase over last year.
Additionally, Tester is pushing for increased funding for Montana law enforcement in his bipartisan Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking Officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act to combat drug trafficking.