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Press Release

Department of Justice Awards Nearly $400 Million for Law Enforcement Hiring to Advance Community Policing

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee
Over $10 Million Awarded to three cities within the Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN - 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 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 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.

Of the nearly $400 million awarded nationwide, over $11 million is directly earmarked for individual cities in West Tennessee, including:

• City of Bolivar Police Department - $116,980 to hire 1 officer

• City of Covington Police Department - $375,000 to hire 3 officers

• City of Memphis Police Department - $9,823,624 to hire 50 officers

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Good government is about priorities, and includes putting resources where they are needed most. In West Tennessee, we know that whether citizens live in urban, suburban, or rural communities, having strong and fully staffed police departments is vital to their communities. We are pleased and thankful that these local police departments were selected by the Attorney General to receive this officer hiring funding, and we know they will put it to good and immediate use to improve public safety."

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.

The complete list of awards can be found here. To learn more out CHP, please visit For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit

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



Updated June 2, 2020