Federal police hiring grants fall in Michigan

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — The Justice Department said Monday it is awarding 10 Michigan police departments money to hire or retain officers, including $355,400 for Detroit — a fraction of what it received last year.

Overall, seven departments in Michigan got $6 million last year, compared with $3.2 million this year.

In 2013 Detroit received $1.9 million to support 10 officers, compared with the award that will support the salaries and benefits of three officers this year.

Other 2014 Michigan grants include $500,000 each for Dearborn and Westland — to pay the salaries of four officers for each comunity; $625,000 for Lansing for five officers; $474,639 for Taylor; $250,000 for Harper Woods, along with $125,000 each for Cadillac, Clare City, Muskegon Heights and Waterford Township.

“This important funding helps to keep law enforcement officers on the beat and allows our local leaders to overcome budget cuts while ensuring public safety on our streets and in our communities,” said Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn. “The COPS program provides vital funding for efforts to hire additional school resource offices, hire military veterans, combat violence, and do more to build trust between police and our communities. I’ll continue to fight to bring back every dollar I can for important programs right here in southeast Michigan.”

In total, Attorney General Eric Holder said the department is awarding $124 million to fund 950 officers at 215 law enforcement agencies.

“These targeted investments will help to address acute needs — such as high rates of violent crime —funding 75 percent of the salary and benefits of every newly-hired or re-hired officer for three full years,” Holder said. “The impact of this critical support will extend far beyond the creation and preservation of law enforcement jobs. It will strengthen relationships between these officers and the communities they serve, improve public safety and keep law enforcement officers on the beat.”

. The program provides up to 75 percent of the approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits of full-time officers for a 36-month grant period, with a minimum 25 percent local cash match requirement and a maximum federal share of $125,000 per officer position.

Grants are made “based on their proposed community policing strategies, fiscal need and violent crime rates.”

To date, the COPS Office has funded more than 125,000 officers serving over 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies. Since its inception in 1994, the COPS Office has provided roughly $14 billion to fund police, provide technical assistance and training, to enhance crime fighting technology and to support crime prevention initiatives.