News and Press Releases

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AWARDS OVER $650,000
IN GRANTS FOR MAINE ENFORCEMENT
AND SCHOOL SAFETY OFFICERS
Funds Will Hire School Resource Officers and Critical Law Enforcement Positions In Four Maine Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2013

Contact: Thomas E. Delahanty II
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Portland, Maine: United States Attorney for the District of Maine Thomas E. Delahanty
II, announced today that the Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing
Services (COPS), has awarded more than $650,000 to four Maine communities to fund five
positions for school resource officer positions. These grant awards are part of more than $125
million awarded nationally to 263 municipalities and counties to create 937 law enforcement
positions, including 356 school resource officers.

In Maine, the awards have been approved for the City of Auburn, $250,000 for two
officers, $156,071 to the Mexico Police Department, and $125,000 each to the Town of
Hampden and the Topsham Police Department for the hiring of an additional officer in each
department. The COPS Hiring Program offers 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.

"In the wake of past tragedies, it's clear that we need to be willing to take all possible
steps to ensure that our kids are safe when they go to school," said Attorney General Eric Holder.
"These critical investments represent the Justice Department's latest effort to strengthen key law
enforcement capabilities, and to provide communities with the resources they need to protect our
young people. Especially in a time of increased challenges and limited budgets, our top priority
must always be the safety and well-being of our children."

Grantees for the 2013 hiring program were selected based on their fiscal needs, local
crime rates, and their community policing plans. There was an additional focus this year on
agencies requesting assistance in developing school safety programs that would include the
hiring of a school resource officer. School resource officer positions funded by the COPS Office
are sworn law enforcement positions that work within a school district or facility, interacting
directly with school administrators and students.

"The Administration put a focus on school safety at the start of this year and we’ve
worked to coordinate a program that offers valuable resources to assist local law enforcement in
these efforts and many others," said Acting Director Ederheimer.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing
nationwide. Since 1995, COPS has awarded over $14 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 125,000 officers and provide a variety of
knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance.

Chief Phillip Crowell of the Auburn Police Department, who is also serving as president
of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, said that he is “very pleased that the Department of
Justice makes these funds available to rural and smaller states like Maine. This enables us to
address some of the unique issues that we have”. In Auburn, the funds will be used to hire two
new officers so that experienced school resource officers can remain within the schools and
continue to lend their expertise to students and school officials. “Without these funds,
diminished revenue sharing from the State would mean that we have to remove officers from the
schools to fulfill regular patrol duties.”

Chief Joseph Rogers of the Hampden Police Department said he is "excited to receive the
funds which will be used to add an additional school officer to be assigned to the junior high
school." The present officer is assigned to the high school. Both officers will also serve the
town’s two elementary schools.

U.S. Attorney Delahanty said that he is pleased that the Maine departments have been
recognized and that the Department of Justice is supporting their programs.

 

 

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