Printer Friendly

Star For Immediate Release
September 27, 2012

CONTACT: Corey Ray
(202) 514-5328

Department of Justice Awards Additional “Vets to Cops” Hiring Grants

Grants awarded to hire veterans for law enforcement positions and save public safety jobs threatened by local budget cuts

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced nearly $3.6 million in funding awards to 12 law enforcement agencies across the country, aimed at creating or saving 28 officer positions.  This funding is in addition to more than $111 million previously awarded by the COPS Office in June 2012 to over 220 cities and counties for the purpose of hiring or rehiring approximately 800 law enforcement positions.

All new law enforcement positions funded in the COPS 2012 Hiring Program must be filled by recent military veterans who have served at least 180 days since September 11, 2001.  The COPS Office will work with transition centers across the country to connect veterans with the new grant-funded law enforcement opportunities.

“This new opportunity for veterans is a commitment to support those who are coming home from their tour of duty,” said Bernard Melekian, COPS Office Director.  “We sincerely hope this effort encourages our veterans to continue to protect and serve the United States through new law enforcement careers.”

The COPS Hiring Program makes grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community policing officers.  The program provides the salary and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years.

Along with the pledge to hire military veterans, grantees for the 2012 Hiring Program were selected based on fiscal need and local crime rates.  An additional factor in the selection process was each agency’s strategy to address specific problems such as increased homicide rates and gun violence. 

“Our mission is to promote public safety through community policing, and that involves applying the resources available to areas with both legitimate need and doable solutions,” stated Melekian.  “We also remain focused on helping agencies maintain their level of service by protecting law enforcement positions recently lost or threatened to be cut.”

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, COPS has awarded over $12 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 124,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, and technical assistance.

To learn more about the Community Policing Development grant program and review the full list of accepted applications for 2012, please visit