Today, Congressman Pete Visclosky announced that the police departments of Lake Station, St. John, and Whiting will each receive grants through the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. The federal funding allows each department to hire one additional officer.
Lake Station Lieutenant John McDaniel said, "With reductions in our city budgets, the funding from the COPS program couldn't come at a better time. This grant will allow us to hire an officer that we would not have been able to otherwise. We are very thankful to be receiving this grant, and it has always been a pleasure working with Congressman Pete Visclosky."
"A condition of the grant is that new hires are to be military veterans who have served after 9/11 for a period of no less than 180 days," said St. John Police Chief Fred Frego. "The St. John Police Department feels honored and very fortunate to be one of only six towns in Indiana to receive this grant. The Department looks forward to accepting the grant and hiring a qualified military veteran. With an additional officer hired under this grant, it will enable the St. John Police Department to enhance services to the citizens of St. John."
Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura said, "Public safety is a top priority. We are always happy to get funding that helps keep police on the streets, especially during an era of tight budgets. This grant will allow us do just that, and will help our police department keep the people of Whiting safe."
"Public safety begins at the local level," Congressman Visclosky said. "I commend the police departments of Lake Station, St. John, and Whiting for their dedication to keeping our communities safe from crime. I applaud these departments for pursuing federal resources to aid in that effort."
The COPS Hiring Program is scheduled to award approximately $111 million in funding throughout Fiscal Year 2012 to hire additional career law enforcement officers. To date, the COPS Hiring Program has assisted in the hiring of nearly 123,800 officers nationwide, spread among more than 12,000 local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
The Lake Station, St. John, and Whiting police departments will each receive $125,000 from the COPS Hiring Program.