SALT LAKE CITY – Five Utah agencies are receiving 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 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation Tuesday afternoon, which allows those agencies to hire 2,732 additional full-time law enforcement professionals. The COPS Office received nearly 1,100 applications requesting more than 4,000 law enforcement positions.
The City of American Fork, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, and the Willard Police Department will each get $125,000 to fund one officer. The City of Orem has been awarded $375,000 to fund three officers. Salt Lake City is getting $1,250,000 to fund 10 officers.
“The Department of Justice is committed to providing the police chiefs and sheriffs of our great nation with needed resources, tools, and support. The funding announced today will bolster their ranks and contribute to expanding community policing efforts nationwide,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “A law enforcement agency’s most valuable assets are the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in the name of protecting and serving their communities.”
“This critical funding will bring 16 new law enforcement officers to agencies in Utah where they will address local needs,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today. “These agencies identified specific community issues and needs where COPS funding could be effectively applied. We appreciate the COPS Office providing funding to Utah agencies. It will be put to good use.”
The COPS Hiring Program is a competitive award program intended to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing by providing direct funding for the hiring of career law enforcement officers. In addition to providing financial support for hiring, CHP provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement to enhance local community policing strategies and tactics. In a changing economic climate, CHP funding helps law enforcement agencies maintain sufficient sworn personnel levels to promote safe communities. Funding through this program had been on hold since the spring of 2018 due to a nationwide injunction that was lifted earlier this year.
CHP applicants were required to identify a specific crime and disorder problem focus area and explain how the funding will be used to implement community policing approaches to that problem focus area. Of the awards announced today, 43 percent will focus on violent crime, while the remainder of the awards will focus on a variety of issues including school-based policing to fund school resource officer positions, building trust and respect, and opioid education, prevention, and intervention.