Law enforcement agencies will have to find a new source of funds for technology upgrades if the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program undergoes some changes.

In addition to a proposed slash in funding from $377 million to $117 million, COPS will not fund technology upgrades, according to program representative Gilbert Moore.

In a review of COPS last year, the Office of Management and Budget gave the program a 30 on a scale of 100 for accountability, and suggested new measures that would help improve the impact of the funds on crime.

Along Florida's Treasure Coast, the Vero Beach Police Department has used federal grants to pay for new technology such as mobile data terminals for police cars, and to update computer equipment.

Block grants for the department have fallen from about $10,000 over the past few years to $5,000 for the current fiscal year.

The Sheriff's Office has used grants to pay for mobile data technology in cars and hand-held ticket writers.

After receiving approximately $95,000 (including matching funds) in 2001, the Sheriff's Office received about $25,000 last year.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Vero Beach Press Journal (04/13/05) P. A1; Simmonsen, Derek; Carling, Casse .