CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 748 is being considered on the floor under a motion to suspend the rules , requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) on January 28, 2009.
H.R. 748 authorizes the establishment of a National Center for Campus and Public Safety, which will be administered by the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS).
The bill authorizes the Center to distribute COPS grants to institutions of higher education and nonprofit institutions provide campus public safety agencies with training and education, foster research to strengthen the safety and security of institutions of higher education, and coordinate campus safety information.
H.R. 748 requires the Center to report annually to Congress and the Attorney General on activities conducted during the previous twelve months.
This legislation is intended to address the safety situations faced by numerous institutions of higher education that have experienced tragic shootings, such as at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois University in 2008. These incidents have led to a renewed focus on securing the safety of our nation's campuses.
The Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS) is a part of the Department of Justice and awards grants to tribal, State, and local law enforcement agencies to hire and train community policing professionals, to attain and deploy new crime fighting technologies, and to develop innovative strategies for policing. According to the COPS Office, the COPS Office has invested $12.4 billion to help law enforcement advance the practice of community policing, and has enabled more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal agencies to hire more than 117,000 police officers and deputies since 1995.
On September 27, 2008, the House passed similar legislation, H.R. 6838, the Campus Safety Act of 2008, by voice vote while under suspension of the rules. The Senate did not consider the bill.
There is no current Congressional Budget Office cost estimate available for H.R. 748, but the bill authorizes $2,750,000 for each fiscal year 2009 through 2013.