The Pennsylvania Senate Law and Justice committee announced Senate bill 1193 which they’ve named the Law Enforcement Recovery Grant. The grant, if the bill passes, will be for up to $2.5 million dollars for local and state law enforcement agencies to help with recruitment and retainment of police officers and to upgrade law enforcement equipment.
The bill is led by PA GOP governor candidate Senator Doug Mastriano. Mastriano announced in a news release on Tuesday that the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency will administer the grant programs and that the agencies who apply must provide the commonwealth on how they’ll use the money.
This bill comes during a time when the commonwealth is dealing with an increase in violent crime and a massive police staffing crisis. Mastriano claims that there are 1,200 open police vacancies in the state but in a recent PhillyCrimeUpdate.com original article, we counted that there are at least that many vacancies just in the city of Philadelphia between PPD, SEPTA PD, and Temple PD. It’s safe to say there are quite a few more vacancies around the commonwealth.
What’s unclear with the bill is if this grant would be available to other law enforcement agencies in the commonwealth that are not considered local and state agencies. For example, Pennsylvania has university police, transit police, railroad police, amongst others that would also benefit from the bill if they were included.