HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania 2022-23 budget invested $135 million into a brand-new law enforcement grant recovery program designed to help agencies protect neighborhoods from violent crime and drugs, said Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33).
Mastriano co-sponsored the original legislation with Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37) in June after months of raising awareness about the devastating impact the pandemic and anti-police sentiment had on police recruitment, retention, and crime prevention efforts.
“We know law enforcement agencies have faced a unique set of challenges since 2020,” Mastriano said. “Rising crime, influx of deadly drugs like fentanyl, staff shortages, and dwindling resources have only exacerbated these problems. This investment signifies our commitment to helping officers protect and serve their communities, ultimately saving lives.”
“There are few jobs as challenging and dangerous as that of a law enforcement officer. Across the Commonwealth, those officers who have already sacrificed so much are enduring longer hours, extra shifts and staff shortages caused by record-high departures and recruitment difficulties,” said Robinson. “Our communities are safer when our police are fully staffed and I am pleased to see this significant state investment in this effort.”
Law enforcement agencies can use the grants to offer incentives to attract new recruits, retain current officers, expand training, and update equipment and other technologies.
The Local Law Enforcement Support Grant will be administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, who will determine awards for applicants. To ensure transparency and oversight, reports and performance metrics will be required to detail how agencies used the money.
In addition to the grant program, the 2022-23 budget also provided for additional funding for the Pennsylvania State Police to hire 200 more troopers to combat rising violent crime.