. . . what happens when the grant money runs out?
“Hagerstown, Maryland has received a $625,000 grant to hire five police officers as part of a Justice Department program to advance “community policing.” The money is supposed to cover the new officers’ salary and benefits for three years, after which local funds will be needed to pay for the positions.The funding is part of $111 million allocated this year through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which seeks to find employment for veterans who are returning from overseas to a stagnant economy and budget shortfalls.
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) attended a press conference in Hagerstown on Monday to highlight the program, and she had announced the award in a press release in June. Hagerstown is the only city in the state to receive a grant through the program.
“This federal funding gets cops on the beat and puts veterans on the job,” Mikulski said in the statement. “More cops make neighborhoods safer by helping to reduce crime. Jobs for veterans makes our economy stronger and makes sure promises made are promises kept.”
Dr. Thomas Alexander, a lieutenant in the Hagerstown Police Department in charge of grant writing, said the program’s main focus is hiring veterans.
“It’s a veterans hiring program, basically,” he said. “It’s aimed primarily at hiring people that were post-9/11 veterans, military experienced.”
The Hagerstown Police Department, which employs about 96 officers, would not be able to make the hires without the grant, Alexander said.”