Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded a Department of Justice (DOJ) grant that will keep 15 Tacoma Police Department officers on the job. The grant, under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, was announced Monday.
Both Cantwell and Murray are long-time advocates for the COPS program and have fought to increase support for its grants. Cantwell sent letters in June and November 2011 and again in March 2012 to the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations subcommittee in support of investment into the COPS program.
"This is great news for the officers of the Tacoma Police Department and the residents of Tacoma," said Senator Cantwell. "Having more officers on the street keeps communities safe and makes them more attractive for businesses to locate and grow. This grant will help support Tacoma's economic development and quality of life."
"With budgets tight in communities across Washington state, I am very glad this investment in our communities will help keep police officers on the job protecting our families," said Senator Murray.
The $4.9 million grant will cover 15 officers' wages and benefits for 36 months. When the 36 month period is over, the police department must retain the officer positions for an additional 12 months.
Eight law enforcement agencies in Washington state were awarded a total of $6.9 million in Fiscal Year 2012 COPS hiring grants to hire, rehire or retain a total of 30 law enforcement officers. In FY 2012, the DOJ awarded $111 million in COPS hiring grants to 221 law enforcement agencies. These grants will be used to hire, rehire or retain 800 law enforcement officers across the nation. All new law enforcement positions must be filled by recent military veterans.
To date, the COPS hiring grants have supported the addition of more than 123,000 officers to more than 12,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies nationwide.