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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

DOJ Awards Nearly $400 million for Law Enforcement Hiring to Advance Community Policing

Pawtucket and Providence Police Departments receive a combined $2 million to hire 16 officers

PROVIDENCE – The Department of Justice today announced nearly $400 million in grant funding through the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP).  The Attorney General announced funding awards to 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation, which allows those agencies to hire 2,732 additional full-time law enforcement professionals.  The awards announced today are inclusive of the $51 million announced in May as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit.  

The Providence Police Department has been awarded $1,250,000 to hire 10 officers. The Pawtucket Police Department has been award COPS grant funding totaling $750,000 to hire 6 additional officers.

“The Department of Justice is committed to providing the police chiefs and sheriffs of our great nation with needed resources, tools, and support.  The funding announced today will bolster their ranks and contribute to expanding community policing efforts nationwide,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “A law enforcement agency’s most valuable assets are the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in the name of protecting and serving their communities.”

“The women and men of local law enforcement who think nothing of putting their lives on the line to protect and serve our communities truly are unsung heroes,” added United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman. “I am delighted that the Department of Justice has rewarded these two very deserving communities that truly lead by example.”

The COPS Hiring Program is a competitive award program intended to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing by providing direct funding for the hiring of career law enforcement officers.  In addition to providing financial support for hiring, CHP provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement to enhance local community policing strategies and tactics.  In a changing economic climate, CHP funding helps law enforcement agencies maintain sufficient sworn personnel levels to promote safe communities.  Funding through this program had been on hold since the spring of 2018 due to a nationwide injunction that was lifted earlier this year.

CHP applicants were required to identify a specific crime and disorder problem focus area and explain how the funding will be used to implement community policing approaches to that problem focus area.  43 percent of the awards announced today will focus on violent crime, while the remainder of the awards will focus on a variety of issues including school-based policing to fund school resource officer positions, building trust and respect, and opioid education, prevention, and intervention.  The COPS Office received nearly 1,100 applications requesting more than 4,000 law enforcement positions. 

A complete list of awards can be found here. To learn more about CHP, please visit https://cops.usdoj.gov/chp.  For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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Topic(s): 
Grants
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
20-61
Updated June 2, 2020