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Police may get taxpayer funds

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) voted last week in favor of the COPS Improvements Act, an expensive bill that would bolster community policing efforts by hiring 50,000 police officers over the next five years. The measure, which was cosponsored by Welch, passed the U.S. House on a vote of 342 to 78.

The bill, which is designed to reinvigorate Community Oriented Policing Services grants, could result in the hiring of as many as 109 police officers in Vermont, according to congressional estimates.

Some officals claim that, since it was created in 1994, the COPS program has contributed to a significant drop in crime nationwide; however, a recent survey of more than 200 police departments showed that 44 percent of the departments surveyed reported an increase of crime.

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