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Tue, Oct 21, 2014

Stimulus: City to apply for policing funds

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Murfreesboro Police Department will apply for stimulus funds to hire more officers.

The city council will vote Thursday night to apply for COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP), a new program created by President Barack Obama’s stimulus package.

Specifics of the grant proposal are unknown at this time, but should be available in the next few weeks, an official with the police department said. 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.

The funds can be used to pay 100 percent of entry-level salary and benefits for each officer for three years. All jurisdictions that receive funding must plan to retain COPS-funded officer positions for at least one year after the grant ends.

Since 1995, COPS has awarded more than $10 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,300 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of nearly 117,000 officers.

In addition to funding law enforcement positions, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services has been the catalyst for innovations in community policing, and the broad implementation of this effective law enforcement strategy. Currently, departments that employ community policing serve 87 percent of American communities.

Similar to Justice Assistance Grant awards, COPS Recovery Act funds can also be used to hire new officers or rehire recently laid off officers, fill unfunded vacancies and help prevent scheduled layoffs within law enforcement agencies. Unlike JAG funds, COPS funds are allocated directly to the local level governments and law enforcement agencies and provide a three-year period of funding.

Michelle Willard can be contacted at 615-869-0816 or mwillard@murfreesboropost.com.
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