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 For Immediate Release
March 11, 2004

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES $27.1 MILLION IN GRANTS TO ADD OFFICERS TO AMERICA'S STREETS

85 Communities Receive Funds to Hire 370 Officers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced $27.1 million in grants to be used by local police and sheriff's departments to hire additional officers. The grants were awarded to 85 law enforcement agencies in 42 states and Puerto Rico, and will be used to hire 370 community policing officers.

"I am pleased that the cities and towns that received today's grants are able to use COPS funding to advance their community policing efforts and provide better protection for their citizens," said Carl Peed, Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. "These funds will provide police and sheriff's departments with added resources, and it will help make our communities safer places to live and work."

The grants were awarded under COPS Universal Hiring Program, and provide 75% of the total salary and benefits of each new officer over three years, up to a maximum of $75,000 per officer. In support of making communities safer by helping increase the number of community policing officers on patrol in local jurisdictions, COPS has funded the addition of over 118,000 officers by more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies since 1994.

In addition to providing funding to hire officers, COPS offers training and technical assistance to help state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies implement innovative and effective community policing strategies. COPS has trained more than 280,000 officers and community members through a national network of Regional Community Policing Institutes. Recent statistics indicate that 64% of U.S. law enforcement agencies, serving 86% of the American population, engage in community policing.

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