House OKs funds to hire more NYPD officers

BROOKLYN - Thousands of new police officers may soon be patrolling Brooklyn and city streets thanks to a measure passed by the House of Representatives.

The Community Oriented Police Services Reauthorization Act, originally passed by former President Bill Clinton, has pumped millions of federal dollars into New York City alone for police hiring since 1994. Reauthorization would boost the program's budget from $1 billion to $1.15 billion annually through fiscal year 2013.

Lawmakers say the increase would mean the city could hire about 3,000 new police officers to help keep crime rates low. The measure also budgets for the hiring of prosecutors and the purchase of communications equipment.

The Senate must approve the bill and President Bush has to sign off on it.

AP wire reports contributed to this report.

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