The Department of Justice awards $139 million in prizes to hire 1,000 new officers

The Department of Justice awards $139 million in prizes to hire 1,000 new officers

Washington The Department of Justice is awarding $139 million to police departments across the United States as part of a grant program that will bring in more than 1,000 new officers.

Grant funding will be announced Thursday through the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Policing Services to 183 law enforcement agencies nationwide and on US soil. The funding is intended to help police departments reduce crime and encourage community policing.

“We are committed to providing police departments with the necessary resources to help ensure community safety and build community trust,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

The grant awards come as police departments across the United States face budget cuts, as cities grapple with cost inflation from the coronavirus pandemic and national calls to reduce police funding in favor of spending more money on social services. Many police agencies have also delayed or canceled police academy classes, which will likely leave a number of jobs vacant as other officers retire.

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Law enforcement agencies across the country have seen a wave of retirements and departures and struggle to recruit the next generation of police officers since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis in May 2020, sparking massive protests over policing and inequality across the country. country. Amid the national police reckoning, communities have been wondering who should become a police officer today.

The Department of Justice said it has received nearly 600 requests from police departments in nearly every US state and territory. The scholarship requires that the funds be used to hire additional officers, other than those who are normally hired using the police department’s operating budget.

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Funds are provided directly to police departments and the sheriff to hire new law enforcement officers. The Department of Justice says that half of the agencies plan to use the funds β€œto focus on building legitimacy and trust between law enforcement and communities,” while the others will use it to build mental health programs or focus on violent crime β€” a priority of the Department of Justice.

Funds have been made available to police departments both large and small. For example, the scholarship provides money for 50 additional officers in San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Houston. New Orleans, Cleveland, and St. Paul, Minnesota, will receive 30 new officers, and other smaller forces will receive a few new officers.

The Department of Justice said the funding is for a total of 1,066 new officers, at a total cost of $139,232,523.

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Besides funds for employment, DOJ Police Grants also provide funding for local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies to strengthen community policing, where agencies use relationships with community leaders to establish dialogues about needs and identify residents’ concerns.

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