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Push for smaller police departments in San Diego to receive federal funding

The Invest to Protect Act has support in Congress from both sides of the aisle.

SAN DIEGO — A local US congressman is pushing for more money for smaller police departments.

The Invest to Protect Act was the center of a news conference held at the Carlsbad Police Department Friday morning.

"I hear from rank and file officers, they're expected to do more and more with fewer resources in many cases," said Congressman Mike Levin (D-Calif). "We have to do all we can to help them be effective and do their jobs well. We expect them to have things like cameras, we have to make sure those systems are funded. We expect them to be trained for de-escalation, we have to make sure the departments have the appropriate funding to train in those areas."

If passed, the legislation would authorize up to $50 million a year for smaller police departments across the country. 

Any department with fewer than 200 employees would qualify. Departments could use the money for things like training, body cameras, and mental health resources.

The money could also be used to recruit and retain officers. 

Jim Willis, the head of the Carlsbad Police Officer's Association, said they would use the money for hiring and retainment bonuses. 

"Anything we can use to retain the officers we have here, quality officers. You want to work with quality co-workers," said Willis.

Willis said their department is losing officers to cities like Murrieta, because of the high cost of living in San Diego.

WATCH RELATED: 'They were outnumbered' | SDPD struggles with staffing leaving 9-1-1 calls unanswered (April 2022)

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