Congress Approves $2.75M for National Center for Campus Public Safety

WASHINGTON—Congress has approved $2.75 million to establish and operate a National Center for Campus Public Safety as part of legislation passed today to fund the government for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year which ends in September. The President is expected to sign the measure, known as the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (H.R. 933), before the current stop-gap measure expires on March 27. This will make the funds immediately available to the Justice Department and follows Attorney General Holder’s March 13 commitment to allocate $1 million of existing funding to this purpose.

“This rapid progress on this line item is thanks to the leadership of Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA 10th), Chairman of the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee, and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) who have worked closely together and with us to move things forward,” the VTV Family Outreach Foundation said in a statement. The overall measure passed with strong bi-partisan support, 73-26 in the Senate last night and 318-109 in the House this morning.

The appropriations measure allocates this funding to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) rather than the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) which is where the CAMPUS Safety Act, which remains pending before Congress, would place it.

“I see this as a signal that Congress wants to expand the scope of the Center from that initially proposed in 2004, and to take a more multidisciplinary approach,” says S. Daniel Carter, VTV’s director. “Passage of the bi-partisan CAMPUS Safety Act (H.R. 359, S. 433), however, remains important to permanently authorize creation of the Center and to help ensure future funding. So far this year the Senate version, sponsored by Senator Warner and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), has advanced out of the Judiciary Committee as part of the School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (S. 146). This version would also move the Center out of the COPS office. The House version, sponsored by Congressman Wolf and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA 3rd) remains in Committee.”

Read the portion of the bill pertaining to the National Center for Campus Public Safety.

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