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 For Immediate Release
September 17, 2003

COPS OFFICE AWARDS $400,000 TO FUND PROGRAMS THAT ENCOURAGE THE PUBLIC TO VOLUNTEER WITH THEIR LOCAL POLICE

Nine Law Enforcement Agencies Receive Grants

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has awarded nearly $400,000 to nine law enforcement agencies to fund Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) programs in eight states. The goal of VIPS is to enhance the capacity of law enforcement to prevent, prepare for, and respond to crime, natural disasters, and other emergencies.

The grants were awarded to the Cal Poly Pomona University (CA), Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC), City of Pinellas Park (FL), Eugene (OR), Kankakee City (IL), Miramar (FL), Surprise (AZ) Police Departments and the Lake County (IN) and Ohio County (WV)
Sheriff's Departments.

The grant funds will cover expenses such as recruitment advertising, equipment, the cost of a program coordinator, or funds to implement and evaluate VIPS programs. The grants will also cover the cost of training two representatives from each of the departments that receive grants.

"Effective community policing is based on law enforcement and the public working together to reduce crime and the fear of crime," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "The Volunteers in Police Service program is a good example of how law enforcement and communities can support each other in the fight against crime. Volunteers get to contribute to the safety and stability of their community, and law enforcement benefits from both a stronger relationship with the community and the work done by volunteers."

Since 1995, COPS has provided more than 6.9 billion to nearly 13,000 state and local law and tribal enforcement agencies to hire over 118,000 officers, deputies, and troopers. COPS also provides law enforcement agencies with an array of community policing training and technical assistance resources.

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