Department of Justice Awards Hiring Grants to Help Reduce Violent Crime in Communities
LAKE CHARLES, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) announced funding awards to the Lake Charles Police Department aimed at creating seven new community police officer positions. Nearly $124 million will be awarded nationally, including $745,796 to the Lake Charles Police 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 salaries and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years.
“This grant will allow the Lake Charles Police Department to enhance law enforcement operations and increase protection in the community by hiring new personnel,” Finley stated. “Our office works with all law enforcement agencies within the Western District of Louisiana, and I’m very happy to see this department grow. I also want to congratulate the police department for the hard work taken to obtain this grant.”
Lake Charles Police Chief Donald Dixon said that the department plans on hiring four new officers immediately and then would like to add three more over the next three years, for a total of seven new officer positions. He said the officers will be part of their community policing program. The program works with neighborhood watch groups and maintains contacts with members of the community in order to strengthen policing operations.
“We’re really excited to be able to hire additional officers,” Lake Charles Police Chief Donald Dixon said. “This grant comes at a time of economic expansion for our area, and we want to be ready.”
“The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country in addressing their most critical public safety issues,” said Ronald L. Davis, director of the COPS Office. “Funding from this year’s program will allow many cities and counties to apply new sworn personnel to issues related to violent crime, property crime, and school safety.”
Grantees for the 2014 hiring program were selected based on their fiscal needs, local crime rates, and community policing plans. 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.
For the entire list of grantees and additional information about the 2014 COPS Hiring Program, visit the COPS website at www.cops.usdoj.gov.