U.S. Attorney Durkan Announces Critical Hiring Grants for Law Enforcement and School Safety Officers
Seattle Police To Get Ten New Officers; Others Will Hire School Resource Officers And Other Critical Law Enforcement Positions
U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan announced today that five police departments in western Washington have been awarded Department of Justice grants to fund additional officers under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. The Seattle Police Department received the largest grant – $1.25 million – for ten officer positions. Auburn Police Department received $625,000 to fund five police positions. Pierce County, Port Angeles and Sequim each received $125,000 to fund the salary and benefits of one police officer. This year the grants are particularly focused on those departments developing school safety programs.
“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.”
“Every additional cop on the streets helps community safety. These grants focus on needs identified by communities,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “We know that 10 new officers in Seattle will help fight crime in troubled areas. And for some of our smaller communities, such as Sequim, the addition of one officer who can focus on school safety can improve the lives of hundreds of young people.”
In addition to the COPS grants to fund personnel, the Tacoma Police Department also received $43,344 to fund its at-risk youth project.
Overall the COPS Office funded awards to 263 cities and counties, aimed at creating 937 law enforcement positions. More than $125 million will be awarded nationally, including nearly $45 million to fund 356 new school resource officer positions.
“The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country address their most critical public safety issues,” said Joshua Ederheimer, Acting 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.”
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.
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 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 2013 COPS Hiring Program, visit the COPS website at www.cops.usdoj.gov.