U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Congressman John Larson (D-1), Congressman Joe Courtney (D-2), Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) today announced U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services grants to fund police officers in Bridgeport, Farmington, Hartford and Norwich.
The competitive awards were made based on fiscal need, local crime rates and community policing plans. Additional focus was given to applications to develop school safety programs, including the hiring of school resource officers.
Bridgeport received $2.2 million to hire ten additional school resource officers. Farmington received $125,000 for a school resource officer. Hartford received $1.8 million for ten police officers. Norwich received $500,000 for four police officers.
Blumenthal said: "These federal funds will supplement the excellent community-oriented efforts of the Bridgeport, Farmington, Hartford and Norwich police departments, providing additional officers at a time when local funds are scarce. I particularly applaud the Department of Justice for their support for school safety and commitment to school resource officers. Earlier this year, I visited schools across the state to learn about their safety procedures and needs. I was deeply impressed by the work of our school resource officers and the powerful and beneficial bonds they create with students--helping to identify and constructively work through problems before they result in serious or permanent harm. Unfortunately, too many communities across Connecticut have been forced to make budget decisions that pit school safety needs against other vital local investments. I will continue to advocate for additional federal funds to ensure that all districts and municipalities have the resources they need to keep their streets and schools safe."
Murphy said: "This award will help reduce violence, improve public safety, and strengthen police forces in Hartford, Bridgeport, Norwich, Farmington and their surrounding areas. I look forward to seeing improvements in school safety and other positive results from this grant."
Esty said: "Law enforcement officers and agencies in Farmington and across Connecticut have proven themselves time and time again in the most difficult of circumstances. The Farmington Police Department is more than deserving of the support this grant will provide to help their work enhancing school safety. I thank the Department of Justice and congratulate Farmington on earning this well-deserved grant."
Larson said: "Hartford and surrounding communities are safer when our police departments are adequately staffed. With the hiring of additional officers made possible by this funding, the Hartford Police Department will be better equipped to keep our residents safe and carry out its mission effectively."
Courtney said: "Chief Fusaro and his team deserve this grant. The Norwich Police do a great job protecting their community and have met the COPS goal of hiring veterans. He will make sure this award is used wisely to bolster Norwich's public safety, which is key to the City's future success."
Himes said: "I am very pleased that Bridgeport is getting the help it needs to make our streets safer by ensuring a strong law enforcement presence in the community. Safe streets mean better access to local businesses, the freedom for children to walk to school, and peace of mind for Bridgeport residents."