U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch last recently announced more than $107 million in grant funding through the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The Attorney General announced funding awards to nearly 200 law enforcement agencies across the nation, aimed at creating, and in some cases protecting, 866 law enforcement positions.

Included on that list as the Old Town Police Department, which will receive a grant for $125,000. That money will be used to pay for a school resource officer. The grant requires a match, which requires that Old Town fund $94,527 over the three years the grant covers, and then fully fund a fourth year. RSU 34 has agreed to split all costs not covered by the grant 50-50 with the city.

The CHP provides funding directly to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies for the hiring and rehiring of entry-level career law enforcement officers in an effort to create and preserve jobs and increase community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts. All CHP applicants were asked to identify a specific crime and disorder problem area and how funding would be used to initiate or enhance their capacity to implement community policing approaches to that problem area. Additional consideration was also given to agencies that selected the areas of school based policing, homicide or violent crime, and homeland security. Applicants who committed to hiring or rehiring at least one military veteran under CHP also received additional consideration for funding.

“Ensuring that local law enforcement officers have the resources they need to serve their communities fairly, faithfully, and effectively is among the Justice Department’s highest priorities,” said Lynch. “These awards will not only keep more officers on the beat – they will address specific issue areas like violent crime, school safety, homeland security, and community trust. They will help our law enforcement agencies become more efficient and more responsive to the needs of their jurisdictions. And they will promote the ongoing efforts of the Department of Justice as we work to build the safe, secure, and supportive communities that every American deserves.”

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, COPS has invested over $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 127,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, and technical assistance.

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