As reported by, two federal lawmakers from New Jersey want to ensure that the government will continue funding what they say is a “vital” public safety program. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr., both Democrats, will be among the officials speaking at a news conference in Clifton this afternoon. They will be voicing support for the Community Oriented Policing Services program, commonly known as “COPS.”

The program provides money that local police departments can use to hire and keep officers on the job, but Republicans and Democrats in Washington have been sparring over the program. Menendez and Pascrell note 12 New Jersey communities got a total of $20.8 million in grants last month. That money will be used to hire 78 police officers overall for the next three years.