COPS Celebrates its 16th Anniversary!

image of us attorney general Eric Holder addressing COPS office
“For the last 16 years, the COPS Office has called forth, and brought out, the best in the Justice Department—and the best in law enforcement. I look forward to strengthening this tradition. And I want you all to know that—as you work to help reduce violent crime and build safe, vibrant, and productive communities—you will continue to have my full support. I am grateful to you all.”
– Attorney General Eric Holder

On November 17, 2010, the COPS Office staff, both current and former, attended the 16th Anniversary Event that took place at the Office’s brand new location of 2 Constitution Square. The afternoon proved to be one of honoring not only the future that COPS has, but also of looking back and reminiscing with former employees about the earlier years at the Office. It was a time to celebrate 16 years of helping support law enforcement agencies to promote community policing practices in order to advance public safety.

Starting with approximately 16 employees, the COPS Office came to fruition in response to the call to support local and state law enforcement in a time of high crime activity. When lawmakers recognized the need for such support in the 1980s and ‘90s, the Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act was passed in both the House and the Senate. In September 1994, with $8.8 billion in funding allocated for law enforcement agencies for the next 6 years, the U.S. Department of Justice created the COPS Office to distribute and monitor those funds through newly implemented community policing grants. As of today, these grants have helped agencies hire and retain hundreds of officers as well as promote public safety through community oriented policing.

COPS Directors Past and Present, Carl Peed, Bernard Melekian, Tom Frazier

In attendance that afternoon was U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as U.S. Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, both as guest speakers addressing a room full of COPS staffers and their guests. Former COPS Office directors Carl Peed and Tom Frazier were also present for the remarks.
After a warm introduction delivered by COPS Director Bernard Melekian, Attorney General Holder took the stage to address the audience. He recognized that:

 “Over the last 16 years, the COPS Office has become a model of success—driving efforts to improve policing strategies and practices, to reduce crime, and empower communities.…You have succeeded in bringing local law enforcement officers, leaders, and residents together to create safer and healthier neighborhoods.”

The anniversary event was not just about the great things accomplished, but also about the work that has yet to be done at the COPS Office. Keeping officers on the streets to promote community policing practices will always be an ongoing necessity. The mission remains true—now more than ever—that the improvement of public safety through the advancement of community policing will continue to be imperative for years to come.

Danielle Ouellette
Program Specialist
The COPS Office

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