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Published on May 15, 2024
Rep. Gallego Spearheads Initiatives to Combat Police Shortage in Arizona During National Police WeekSource: Wikipedia/Ruben Gallego

As the nation honors its law enforcement heroes during National Police Week, Arizona's own Rep. Ruben Gallego, a decorated Marine Corps vet and a member of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, has taken the lead in tackling the pressing shortage of police officers in local departments. Gallego announced a suite of initiatives aimed at recruiting, training, and securing the future of law enforcement across the state, as reported by his office.

Underlining the urgency, Gallego stated, "As communities across Arizona face a growing officer shortage, we must step up to keep Arizonans safe and help departments with training and hiring." The representative has been instrumental in securing more federal dollars for local law enforcement in the state's budget for this fiscal year, and continues to advocate for grants that address the specific needs of departments.

This week, Rep. Gallego backed the Strong Communities Act, moving towards creating a more symbiotic relationship between the police and the communities they protect by encouraging officers to serve where they live, and supported the Recruit and Retain Act, focused on bringing in new qualified individuals into the force. Additionally, Gallego announced that the COPS Hiring Program is open to new applications for funding, encouraging Arizona police departments to reach out for support through a streamlined process he helped facilitate.

Gallego's commitment to law enforcement extends beyond recruitment; he signed onto a bipartisan resolution honoring officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice and, previously during the same week, supported the Invest to Protect Act legislation designed to boost capabilities of small and Tribal police departments in critical areas like safety training and mental health support, according to information from Gallego's office. Additionally, earlier in 2023, he introduced the BADGES for Native Communities Act, aimed at strengthening Tribal law enforcement efforts and ensuring greater public safety.