Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli and COPS Office Director Bernard Melekian recently traveled to Houston to announce the availability of $298 million in grants to hire and/or retain 1,388 state, local and tribal law enforcement officers by 379 police and sheriffs departments in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The funding is being awarded under the COPS Hiring Program.
The grants provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for entry level officer positions over a three year period. Police departments receiving the grants will then be required to retain the grant-funded positions for a fourth year. The funding will provide much needed support to state and local government budgets, and will help the nation’s law enforcement agencies add and retain the manpower needed to fight crime more effectively through community policing.
"American law enforcement is consistently seeking opportunities to better serve the public and fight crime, and grants to hire community policing officers supports these efforts," said COPS Director Bernard K. Melekian.
Additionally, Director Melekian announced $7.5 million in grants to 19 organizations to develop new and effective approaches for responding to common crime and disorder problems. The grants were awarded under the COPS Office’s Community Policing Development program, which funds a broad range of projects intended to serve as models for law enforcement agencies across the country. The Community Policing Development program supports the development of innovative community policing strategies, applied research, guidebooks, and best practices that are national in scope.
One hundred sixty seven local law enforcement agencies and municipalities in 40 states and Puerto Rico received $15.9 million in grants to fund up to 50 percent of the total cost of purchasing and installing metal detectors, locks, lighting, fencing, closed-circuit surveillance systems and other safety equipment in schools. The Secure Our Schools program also funds things such as security assessments, security training, and other measures that will provide a significant improvement in school safety.
The COPS Office awarded $10.2 million in Child Sexual Predator Program grants to 24 government agencies in 18 states to fund partnerships between state or local government agencies and their U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshals Service offices that focus on locating, arresting, and prosecuting child sexual predators, as well as enforcing state sex offender registration laws.
Lastly, $3.9 million in grants was awarded to 25 tribes under the Tribal Methamphetamine Initiative. COPS is also funding a $1 million training and technical assistance project that will support tribal methamphetamine enforcement efforts.
Tribal Methamphetamine Initiative grants provide up to $200,000 in funding for tribes to develop and implement programs that address methamphetamine related health and safety issues. Grant funding covers expenses such as personnel, equipment, training, travel, and other costs directly related to mitigating methamphetamine. All federally recognized tribes were eligible to apply for funding.