For Immediate Release
April 14, 2010
CONTACT: Gilbert L. Moore
Director Melekian and St. Louis Officials Discuss Importance of Stimulus Funding for Police Departments
COPS Office Director Bernard Melekian, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Police Chief Dan Isom gathered at St. Louis City Hall this morning to discuss the importance of stimulus monies allocated to police departments. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department received $8,678,550 to fund 50 police officers for three years. Next month, the first round of those COPS-funded officers will graduate from the Police Academy and will be active SLMPD officers.
“These grants provide funding for officers who make our communities, including St. Louis, safer through the advancement of community policing,” said Director Melekian.
“In the first three months of this year, the City of St. Louis saw a 12.4% decrease in crime compared to 2009. With the addition of 50 new police officers, I hope crime will continue to go down,” Mayor Slay said. “This is a time when many cities facing similar budget shortfalls will be forced to reduce their police force. We are committed to maintaining our current staffing levels.”
The City of St. Louis currently has 1,290 police officers. Within a month, 31 COPS-funded officers will be added. A City-funded class of 34 officers is set to graduate in the fall, and the final round of COPS-funded officers will enter the Police Academy in the fall.
“We were thrilled to receive the COPS grant,” Said Chief Isom. “In this challenging fiscal environment, many police departments have been forced into hiring freezes. This grant ensures there will be 50 more officers who will continue our efforts to decrease crime and to protect the people who live, work, and play in St. Louis.”
On July 28, 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced funding to more than 1,000 law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire nearly 5,000 police officers through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).
More coverage from St. Louis can be found below:
For more information on COPS funding, please contact the COPS Office at 202-616-1728.