COPS program in jeopardy

PATERSON - A federal aid program that has helped police departments across New Jersey make ends meet is in jeopardy. The government is threatening to pull the plug on the COPS program.

Departments that have received aid from the program include Hackensack, Fair Lawn, and Wayne.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) helped develop the COPS program under former President Bill Clinton. Now the program could fall victim to budget cuts. Police departments would be forced to rely on local and state funding to make ends meet. Pascrell says the threat of the program being cut isn't good.

COPS grants are awarded through federal appropriations, so Pascrell says money that has already been awarded to departments, such as Paterson, should be safe. The city applied for nearly $4 million in 2009. That money came through this year and is now being used to put 25 police officers back on the job.

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