The Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) added $1 billion in Recovery Act grants specifically to help police departments retain officers or hire new recruits to fill open positions.
The COPS Hiring Recovery Program provides funds to cover full-time salaries and benefits for state, local, territorial and tribal police officers for three years. According to the Department of Justice:
- 7,300 applications received from all 50 states
- 4,699 officer jobs expected to be retained or created
Among the 1,046 municipal police departments, sheriffs' departments, and tribal offices that have received COPS grants:
- Mesa, AZ – $5.9 million, covering costs of 25 new hires, the city’s website reported
- Fort Pierce, FL – $1.1 million, allowing five downsized officers to return to work, according to Fort Piece PD
- Rocky Mount, NC – $1.1 million, which will fund eight officer positions, the city’s website reported
- Port Angeles, WA – $500,000, which city officials said will fully fund two officer positions for three years.
Oakland, CA, received a COPS Recovery grant for a total $19.7 million. “The COPS grant helped us to prevent laying off 140 officers,” said Paul Rose, communications director for city hall. “This was significant, because our budget deficit has prevented us from hiring more officers.”
The grant was awarded specifically to retain 41 officers facing possible job elimination. But the Oakland police department must maintain a certain number of officers in order to receive funding from a local initiative. The lay-off of 41 officers would have dropped the staff level below that number, forcing the elimination of possibly another 99 jobs, Rose explained.
More details are available on COPS Hiring Recovery Program awards to all 1,046 recipients.
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