From testimony by Thomas C. Frazier, director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, before the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on crime yesterday: Approximately 87 percent of the American population is now served by a policing agency that practices community policing. . . . Crime is dropping in every region of the country. Just last week the FBI reported that crime has now declined for an unprecedented seven consecutive years. . . . [W]e could never have achieved so much without the COPS [Community Oriented Policing Services] program. . . .
When I arrived in Baltimore in 1994, it was a city with a tremendous narcotics problem, a shrinking population and a diminishing tax base. It was a city that was caught in the worst of urban Catch 22s. As crime goes up, business and residents flee the city and the economy deteriorates. As the economy deteriorates, the city cannot afford to spend money on police and crime goes up even more. In Baltimore, the COPS program helped us break this vicious cycle. . . . We flooded open-air drug markets with police to take back the city block by block. And when we discovered that the city's community centers were closing at 3 in the afternoon and kids were being put on the street during the most crime-ridden hours of the day, we started the Police Athletic League to provide safe places, positive activities and good role models for kids. . . .
[COPS is not] a federal entitlement program for local law enforcement. Instead, it is a temporary injection of federal assistance to help communities develop long-term, local solutions to problems of crime.