California has received a multi-million dollar grant that would allow it to hire police officers throughout the state.
California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer praised the United States Justice Department’s announcement that California would receive more than $71 million in grants to hire 190 police officers. Redlands, a city in San Bernardino County, will receive a little more than $1.7 million to hire four officers.
The funding will go to the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which gives hiring grants to help increase police forces nationwide. COPS is an office within the Justice Department that advances the practice of community policing and crime prevention efforts in America’s state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.
“As cities in California continue to confront difficult budget cuts, I am pleased that this funding will put more police officers on the streets to protect our families and communities,” Boxer said in a press release praising the funding. “It is common sense – more cops on the beat means less crime.”
In 2009, the program was given $1 billion through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and within five months it awarded that amount to 1.046 law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire nearly 5,000 officers for three years. Since 1995, COPS has given more than $13 billion to more than 13,000 agencies, hiring roughly 120,000 officers.
The COPS grant will give money for all of the approved salary and benefits for entry-level officer positions for three years. It also will require police departments to retain the grant funding positions for a fourth year.
While California received $71 million for the COPS program, nationwide more than $243 million was given to 238 law enforcement agencies to hire 1,021 officers – of those, 730 will be new officers, 190 will be retained instead of being laid off and 101 will be rehired after being laid off from budget cuts. When applications for the grants were received, the COPS program had 2,712 agencies that applied for 8,999 positions at a total of $2 billion.
“Cities across the country are dealing with numerous challenges and we are pleased to be able to assist their public safety efforts,” COPS Director Bernard Melekian said. “Creating and maintaining jobs is a key part of this program. This funding helps support local departments in their efforts to increase their ranks, enhance their relationship with the community and directly address their public safety concerns.”
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