Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced $1 billion in grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of law enforcement officers all across the country under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The grants will be awarded to 1,046 law enforcement agencies from all 50 states and will provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for 4,699 officers for three years. Police departments receiving the grants will then be required to retain the grant-funded positions for a fourth year. Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and law enforcement officers from mid-Atlantic states joined the Vice President and Attorney General at the event.
"A big part of the Recovery Act is about building communities – making them as strong as they can be, allowing every American family to live a better life than the one they are leading now," said Vice President Joe Biden. "And we can’t achieve the goal of stronger communities without supporting those who keep our streets safe."
The Recovery Act grants, which will be administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program, provide much needed financial support to state, local and tribal governments, and will help the nation’s law enforcement agencies add and retain the manpower needed to fight crime more effectively through community policing. The Department of Justice received over 7,200 applications for more than 39,000 officer positions, representing a total of $8.3 billion in requested funding.
"These Recovery Act funds will pump much needed resources into communities through a program with a proven track record," said Attorney General Holder. "The tremendous demand for these grants is indicative of both the tough times our states, cities and tribes are facing, and the unyielding commitment by law enforcement to making our communities safer."
"Our sworn officers are the front line of defense against crime and disorder in our nation’s communities," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. "These Recovery funds are essential in helping local law enforcement agencies fulfill their mission of making the places in which we all live and work as safe as possible."
The Recovery Act includes $4 billion in Department of Justice grant funding to enhance state, local, and tribal law enforcement efforts, including the hiring of new police officers, to combat violence against women, and to fight internet crimes against children. In addition to today’s COPS awards, to date the Department of Justice has awarded $1.7 billion through formula state and local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, $95 million through the Victims of Crime Act Formula Grant Program, $41.5 million for Internet Crimes Against Children initiatives, $127 million in Office on Violence Against Women Recovery Act funds and $8.6 million for assistance for law enforcement along the Southern Border and in high intensity drug trafficking areas.
For more information about the COPS grants, or to learn which law enforcement agencies received funding, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.