Hunt Pushes Law Enforcement Bill to Address ‘Hiring Challenges’

Hunt Pushes Law Enforcement Bill to Address ‘Hiring Challenges’

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
May 13, 2024

Texas Representative Wesley Hunt’s (R) legislation H.R. 3325, The Recruit and Retain Act, reported favorably out of the House Judiciary Committee.

The U.S. Justice Department supplies funding to state, local, and tribal governments to hire law enforcement officers (LEOs) under the COPS Hiring Program (CHP). Congress originally authorized the CHP 10 years ago in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The CHP is funded at $224.5 million for FY 2023 and it remains the central federal resource to help law enforcement agencies hire new officers.

According to Hunt’s statement, the “bill would leverage the CHP to ensure the program is responsive to the latest hiring challenges that federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies are experiencing nationwide.”

The Recruit and Retain Act would lower the costs of onboarding new officers, including fees linked to background checks, psychological evaluations and testing.

Moreover, it could potentially lighten administrative burdens and add clarity to application guidance, thus ensuring CHP grants are accessible to all law enforcement agencies.

Lastly, Hunt claimed the bill could ”create new opportunities for law enforcement to build trust and interest in law enforcement careers with local youth”, as well as “research the latest data and uncover new insights into law enforcement recruitment and retention trends across the country.”

The Texas congressman made his feelings on the bill’s status clear in his concluding remarks on the new legislation.

“I'm proud to say this bipartisan bill has been endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, the National Association of Police Organizations, the National Sheriff's Association, and others,” said Hunt regarding the waves of support he received from various law enforcement organizations.

“When our police departments are well-funded and maintained, our communities are safer,” concluded Hunt.

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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