U.S. Department of Justice
OFFICE OF COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING SERVICES
AWARDED TO THE CITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
Award Nos. 95-TC-WX-1233, 95-CC-WX-0129, 95-CL-WX-0117, and 95-CL-WX-0117 Renewal
September 30, 1997
The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, completed an audit of grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), to the City of Houston, Texas, Police Department (HPD). The HPD received a grant of $9,225,000 to hire or rehire 123 police officers under the Accelerated Hiring, Education, and Deployment (AHEAD) program; a grant of $5,435,391 to redeploy 363 police officers under the Making Officer Redeployment Effective (MORE) program; a RENEWAL grant of $4,700,000 for the COPS MORE program to redeploy 189 police officers for a second year; and a grant (TROOPS TO COPS) of $180,000 for training costs for 36 military veterans to be hired under the Phase I or AHEAD programs. The purpose of the grants was to enhance community policing efforts.
Generally, the HPD properly accounted for the funds received from the COPS grants. Budgeted funds for police services and the number of police officers budgeted generally increased each year since FY 1994, 2 years before the beginning of the COPS AHEAD, COPS MORE, and COPS MORE RENEWAL grants.
We found the following conditions during our audit:
- The HPD did not provide supporting documentation for the redeployment of full-time equivalents using the equipment and technology award included in the COPS MORE award. As a result, claimed costs of $732,266 were unsupported.
- Disbursements of $150,000 for the TROOPS TO COPS program were questioned because the HPD did not hire military veterans under the Phase I or AHEAD grants as required.
- Ineligible police officers' salaries were charged to the COPS AHEAD grant. Accordingly, we questioned salaries of $862.
- One portion of the Department Initial Report was not accurate for the COPS AHEAD grant.
- The Financial Status Reports for the start-up periods of each of the grants were not submitted to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).