09.30.10

Leahy: 3 Vermont Communities Receive Grants For Police Hiring

WASHINGTON (Thursday, Sept. 30) – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that three Vermont communities have been awarded grants through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program.  Law enforcement agencies in Orange County, Castleton, and Barre will receive grants to hire or re-hire law enforcement officers.

“The federal, state and local law enforcement partnership is on display every day in Vermont,” said Leahy.  “Vermont law enforcement agencies have benefited from COPS grants in the past.  These funds allow law enforcement agencies across the state to hire the dedicated officers that keep our communities safe.”

Grants awarded through the COPS program go directly to law enforcement agencies to hire or re-hire career law enforcement officers.  The grants provide 100 percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and benefits for three years for newly-hired officers, or for re-hired officers who have been laid off as a result of local budget cuts.  The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will receive a grant of $179,000; the Castleton Police Department will receive a $197,000 grant; and the City of Barre will receive a grant of $206,000.

Leahy has led congressional efforts to restore funding for the COPS program.  The hiring program helped to put more than 100,000 new officers on the street in the 1990s, but funding for the important community safety program was cut during the last administration.  In 2009, Leahy worked to include $4 billion in the economic stimulus package for state and local law enforcement programs, including $1 billion for the COPS program.  In August, 25 Vermont law enforcement agencies received COPS grants stemming from the stimulus funding.

Leahy is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has held a series of field hearings in Vermont about the importance of the federal partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies, especially in a time of significant local budget cuts. 

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