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COPS grants to pay for multiple police officers in Southwestern Illinois

At least five Southwestern Illinois law enforcement agencies will be receiving a total of more than $1 million in grant awards from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program.

The grant covers 75 percent of the approved entry-level salaries and benefits of each newly hired and/or rehired full-time officer, up to $125,000 per officer, over three years.

U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft said community-oriented policing focuses on building ties and working closely with community members.

The following police departments in the Southern District of Illinois have been awarded COPS funding:

Anna Police Department $125,000

Brooklyn Police Department $123,044

Caseyville Police Department $125,000

Collinsville Police Department $750,000 (total of six officers)

Separately, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, announced that $125,000 is also coming to pay the cost of an officer at the Litchfield Police Department.

These police departments were among 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation chosen to receive COPS grants totaling $400 million. The funds are expected to provide financial support to hire additional full-time law enforcement professionals and enhance local community policing strategies and tactics.

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. 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.

Forty-three percent of the awards announced 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. The COPS Office received nearly 1,100 applications requesting more than 4,000 law enforcement positions.

“These grant awards will ensure that the receiving police departments are properly staffed to serve and protect our communities,” Davis said. “I am proud to support this funding to give law enforcement the tools they need to keep us safe.”

“We are excited to learn the Litchfield Police Department will be the recipient of an award from the Department of Justice COPS hiring program,” said Kenny Ryker, chief of police in Litchfield. “This funding will be essential to the furthering of our Community Policing efforts and will strengthen our partnership with the Litchfield School District as we will be able to place an officer within the district as a school resource officer to provide additional services and safety to the student population.”

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