U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), a member of the House Armed Services and Judiciary Committees, announced today that Newton County will receive a more than $900,000 grant from Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office.
The nearly $1 million grant is part of $111 million in grants that the Department of Justice COPS Office made to 221 different local law enforcement agencies across the country. Since 2009, Rep. Johnson -- a longtime supporter of the COPS program -- has helped his district receive nearly $4 million in COPS grants that were used to hire 20 additional police officers.
With this grant money, Newton County can now hire up to seven additional officers.
"Supporting local law enforcement and giving them the tools needed to keep our communities safe is one of the most important things we do," said Johnson, who in July 2011 voted against House leadership efforts to gut the COPS program.
Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown said the COPS funding could go a long way in boosting the county's department.
"This type of funding is critical for our department's mission," said Sheriff Brown. "I can't emphasize enough how important it is to law enforcement officials that while we risk our lives on the streets every day, Hank is providing us the support we need in Washington. We appreciate what Congressman Johnson is doing for law enforcement in Newton County."
Since 1995, the COPS program has invested more than $177 million in Georgia law enforcement agencies, which was used to hire more than 2,400 officers and provide more than $24 million in technology upgrades.
New for the 2012 program, is a requirement that all new officers hired under the grant must be military veterans who served at least 180 days of active military service, on or after September 11, 2001.
"Veterans have served us faithfully abroad, and now it's time that we give them the opportunity to do some nation-building here at home," said Johnson.