Rutherford County’s Board of Commissioners approved several resolutions Thursday night that will get federal stimulus money flowing into Rutherford County to support public safety. The Sheriff’s Office asked to apply for the COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP), two Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) applications and a STOP COPS/Domestic Violence Investigator Grant. All the grant application requests passed the commission with little discussion. The COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) is a new program created by President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, which funds new police jobs for 3 years. The RCSO would like to hire 15 new patrol deputies with the grant. The last COPS grant the county received was in 2002, which ended in approximately 2005, he said. The grant pays 100 percent of entry-level salary and benefits for each officer for three years, and the county must plan to retain COPS-funded officer positions for at least one year after the grant ends. To the county, the grant is worth more than $2.9 million for wages and benefits. But the RCSO would have to fund equipment and training costs of $573,315 in the first year, County Finance Director Lisa Nolen said. The Sheriff’s Office will use one of the JAG grants to cut down on the initial cost. The county will also need to fund another $500,000 solely for wages for the year after the grants expire plus the cost of benefits. CHRP makes $1 billion available for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which is estimated to create or save around 5,500 law enforcement jobs nationwide. Using $2 billion from the Recovery Act 2009, the JAG grants can be used to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and improve the criminal justice system. The stimulus package also made $225 million available for Violence Against Women programs, of which $175 million is for the STOP grants. The couny plans to use the funds to hire a Domestic Violence Investigator.
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