In Buffalo, Sen. Gillibrand talks childcare funding bill to support police

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand paid Buffalo a visit on Friday to announce a plan to get federal funding for child care.

Gillibrand’s conference took place at the Buffalo Police Department headquarters on Court Street, where she announced the Providing Child Care for Police Officers Act. She said the act would provide $24 million for each of the next five fiscal years for childcare services in support of law enforcement.

If signed into law, the act would allow for grants up to $3 million to individual law enforcement agencies to establish child care programs.

20 percent of the total grant funding would be set aside for departments with fewer than 200 officers.

“Police officers often work extended hours on a nontraditional schedule,” Gillibrand’s office said. “Recent surveys show that nearly 20% of police officers are seeking to leave the profession, and at one major metropolitan police department, more than half of officers reported having to leave or miss work due to child care issues.”

In Gillibrand’s conference, she spoke of how this disproportionally impacts women. As of 2021, only 12 percent of police officers in the U.S. were female, according to an initiative called 30×30.

“Offering childcare services is a powerful tool to attract and retain new talent, and it’s an essential way to promote public safety while maintaining a stable law enforcement workforce,” Gillibrand said.

Watch the full conference in the video above.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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