Today, Congressmanannounced that the Portage and Cedar Lake Police Departments will each receive grants through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring program. The COPS Hiring program provides funding to state and local law enforcement agencies to hire, preserve, or rehire officers in an effort to increase policing capacity and crime prevention efforts. Both police departments will be hiring officers as a result of today’s funding.
Visclosky said, “Today’s COPS grants will deliver the best thing that federal support can provide right now, and that’s jobs. I applaud the Portage and Cedar Lake Police Departments for their efforts in securing these grants, which will directly benefit the local communities by improving policing capabilities and further increasing safety and security.”
Portage Police Chief Mark Becker remarked, “Throughout the nation, public safety personnel face the challenge of dealing with increasing threats to their communities with limited manpower resources. As such, we must explore new and innovative approaches to ensure the safety of our community. Utilizing grants to accomplish and pursue those concepts with federal funds is a very competitive process. We are very appreciative of Congressman Visclosky’s efforts in aligning Portage in a position to utilize federal COPS grant money to hire additional officers.”
Chief Becker goes on to say, “With the approval of our city council, this grant would provide federal funds totaling $542,520 to cover the salary and benefits for up to three officers over the next three years. As we have outlined in our COPS application, it is our vision that these funds would assist in our community policing efforts, which could include an additional school resource officer, drug interdiction personnel and more officers assigned to patrol in support of those endeavors.”
Cedar Lake Police Chief Roger Patz said, “Our Department has been struggling for years with the inability to add additional police officer positions, even though our community has grown substantially. With the help and support of Congressman Pete Visclosky, we have overcome the odds and our Town will soon be a little safer. We hope that in a matter of weeks, we will add a new police officer position. This is great news not only for our police department, but also for the people we serve!”
The Portage Police Department will receive $542,520. The Cedar Lake Police Department will receive $227,143. The COPS grants will cover full salary and benefits packages for the hired officers for the next three years.
To apply for COPS funding in the future, check www.cops.usdoj.gov for award opportunities.