Department Of Justice Awards Nearly $400 Million For Law Enforcement Hiring To Advance Community Policing
(STL.News) – The Department of Justice announced nearly $400 million in grant funding through the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The Attorney General announced funding awards to 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation, which allows those agencies to hire 2,732 additional full-time law enforcement professionals. The awards announced are inclusive of the $51 million announced in May as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit.
“The Department of Justice is committed to providing the police chiefs and sheriffs of our great nation with needed resources, tools, and support. The funding announced will bolster their ranks and contribute to expanding community policing efforts nationwide,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “A law enforcement agency’s most valuable assets are the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in the name of protecting and serving their communities.”
“We are pleased that these grants, which total over $2 million, will allow law enforcement agencies to hire 18 new positions within their respective departments in the Eastern District of Tennessee. The grants were awarded to the following departments: The City of Alcoa, Bradley County Sheriff’s Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the Town of Jonesborough, LaFollette Police Department, Manchester Police Department, McMinnville Police Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Department. I am confident that our local law enforcement agencies and communities will be able to use these new resources to protect and serve the citizens of East Tennessee even more effectively,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey.
The COPS Hiring Program is a competitive award program intended to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing and, by providing direct funding for the hiring of career law enforcement officers. In addition to providing financial support for hiring, CHP provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement to enhance local community policing strategies and tactics. In a changing economic climate, CHP funding helps law enforcement agencies maintain sufficient sworn personnel levels to promote safe communities. Funding through this program had been on hold since the spring of 2018 due to a nationwide injunction that was lifted earlier this year.
CHP applicants were required to identify a specific crime and disorder problem focus area and explain how the funding will implement community policing approaches to that problem focus area. 43 percent of the awards announced will focus on violent crime, while the remainder of the awards will focus on a variety of issues including school-based policing to fund school resource officer positions, building trust and respect, and opioid education, prevention, and intervention. The COPS Office received nearly 1,100 applications requesting over 4,000 law enforcement positions.