Roundup Record Tribune & Winnett Times -



WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced more than $2.3 million in grant awards for Montana as part of nearly $400 million in grant funding through the Department’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, which allows those agencies to hire 2,732 additional full-time law enforcement professionals.

In Montana, 12 sheriff's offices and police departments were awarded more than $2.3 million, with grant amounts ranging from $375,000 to $125,000, to hire 16 new positions.

The awards announced today are inclusive of the $51 million announced in May as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit.

“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 great news for our local law enforcement partners across the state. This funding will provide more officers and deputies on the ground and help us keep our keep communities safe," U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

In the Montana, the agencies and grant awards included: Broadwater County Sheriff's Office, $250,000; Carbon County Sheriff's Office, $125,000; Gallatin County Sheriff's Office, $375,000; Lake County Sheriff's Office, $219,009; Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office, $125,000; Miles City Police Department, $125,000; Mineral County Sheriff's Office, $223,779; Missoula Police Department, $250,000; Park County Sheriff's Office, $125,000; Prairie County Sheriff's Office, $179,593; Sweet Grass County, $125,000 and Troy Police Department, $189,779.

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. 43 percent of the awards announced today 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.


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