Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Justice Department Allocates $ 139 Million to Recruit 1,000 New Officers

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department is providing $ 139 million to US police departments through a grant program that will attract more than 1,000 new officers.

The grant, which was announced Thursday through the Justice Department’s Office of Community-Based Police Services, will go to 183 law enforcement agencies nationwide and across the United States. The funding is intended to help police departments reduce crime and encourage community policing.

“We are committed to providing police departments with the resources they need to ensure public safety and build public confidence,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

The grants come as U.S. police departments are facing budget cuts and cities are grappling with spikes in spending due to the coronavirus pandemic and national calls to cut police funding in favor of higher spending on social services. Several police agencies have also postponed or canceled classes at the police academy, which is likely to leave a number of vacancies unfilled as other officers retire.

Law enforcement agencies across the country have experienced a wave of resignations and layoffs and are struggling to recruit the next generation of police officers since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis in May 2020, sparking massive protests over policing and injustice across the country. country. And against the backdrop of nationwide policing calculations, communities are wondering who should become a police officer today.

The Justice Department said it has received about 600 applications from police departments in nearly every state and territory in the United States. The grant requires the money to be used to hire additional officers beyond those normally hired using the police department’s operating budget.

The money is donated directly to the police and sheriff’s departments to recruit new law enforcement officers. The Justice Department says half of the agencies plan to use the money “to focus on building legitimacy and trust between law enforcement and communities,” while others will use it to create mental health programs or focus on violent crime – a priority for the Justice Department.

Money was provided to both large and small police stations. For example, the grant provides funds for an additional 50 officers in San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati and Houston. New Orleans, Cleveland and St. Paul, Minnesota will receive 30 new officers, while other smaller forces will receive several new officers.

In total, the funding is providing 1,066 new officers, totaling $ 139,232,523, the Justice Department said.

In addition to recruiting funds, Justice Department grants also provide funding to local, state and tribal law enforcement agencies to improve community policing, in which agencies use relationships with community leaders to establish dialogue about needs and identify community concerns.

Nation World News Desk
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