U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
OFFICE OF COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING SERVICES
GRANTS TO THE COACHELLA POLICE DEPARTMENT, CALIFORNIA
The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of two grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), to the Coachella Police Department (CPD) California. The CPD received a grant of $169,299 to hire or rehire two additional sworn police officers under the Phase I program, $769,200 to hire or rehire five officers under the Universal Hiring Program (UHP), and $49,313 to redeploy 2 full-time equivalents (FTEs) under the Making Officer Redeployment Effective program for 1996 (MORE 96). The purpose of the additional officers was to enhance community policing efforts.
In brief, our audit determined that the CPD violated the following grant conditions:
- The Phase I grant application overstated entry level police officer salary and fringe benefits by $22,311 over the life of the grant.
- The CPD charged to the Phase I grant salary and fringe benefit cost for journeyman police officers. This resulted in overcharging the Phase I grant $16,856. In addition, the CPD charged this grant for unallowable overtime ($3,661) and uniform allowance ($1,500).
- The CPD overcharged the UHP grant ($3,902) through February 28, 1997, because the CPD billed for excessive costs that exceeded the salary and fringe benefits paid to an entry level police officer. In addition, during the same period the CPD charged the grant for unallowable overtime ($3,425) and uniform allowance ($2,950).
- The CPD failed to submit 9 of the required 12 Phase I grant Financial Status Reports. Of the 3 reports submitted, one was late, one was not signed or dated, and only one was submitted timely.
- The CPD failed to submit 6 of the required 8 UHP Financial Status Reports. Of the 2 reports submitted both were timely. None of these reports accurately stated the UHP grant's financial status.
- The CPD had not prepared and submitted Officer Progress Reports. The Phase I Initial Report was not submitted timely, nor did it accurately state the baseline number of officers. In addition, only one Annual Department Report for the Phase I grant had been submitted.
- A good faith formal plan to retain Phase I, UHP, and MORE 96 officers had not been developed.