25 Vermont towns get total of $5 million for new police hires

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday morning that Vermont will receive $5,045,045 in economic recovery grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of law enforcement officers.  The grants to 25 law enforcement agencies across Vermont are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency s COPS Hiring Recovery Program.The grants provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for newly hired entry level officer positions over a three year period.  Police departments receiving the grants will then be required to retain the grant-funded positions for a fourth year.  Leahy said the funding comes amid extreme budget pressures as communities cope with falling revenues under the economic downturn and will help Vermont s law enforcement agencies add and retain the staffing levels needed to fight crime more effectively through community policing.Leahy worked to secure this funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was signed into law Feb. 17.  As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he dedicated two hearings to the importance of the federal partnership with state and local law enforcers, particularly during difficult economic times.  Leahy also is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which included nearly $4 billion dollars in the final recovery package for law enforcement programs.Leahy, a former prosecutor, said, This is a timely tonic to keep our streets and communities safer.  It also is another dividend from starting early and pulling together as we have done ever since Vermont convened the first statewide conferences on the stimulus plan.  Our law enforcement community has taken advantage of that head start.  An economic crisis sows the seeds of crime, just as it forces states and towns to slash their budgets, including vital funding for police.  Without additional funding like this they will need to cut their already depleted ranks even further.  This COPS funding will allow state and local police forces to quickly fill vacancies and hire new officers and staff.  The law enforcement community in Vermont has demonstrated an exemplary all hands on deck approach through initiatives like the Vermont Drug Task Force and Special Investigations Units dedicated to investigating sex crimes throughout the state.  These awards are a testament to the quality and dedication of Vermont s law enforcers.Last March Leahy and Vermont Gov. James Douglas (R) hosted two statewide conferences the first in the nation on the stimulus package — in Burlington and Brattleboro to help Vermont families, businesses and towns learn about how the ARRA would help strengthen Vermont s economy.  One workshop at both conferences was dedicated to accessing first-responder and criminal justice funding opportunities and linked state and local law enforcement agencies to officials within the Department of Justice, helping to give Vermont communities a head start in applying for these COPS grants.A breakdown of COPS Hiring Recovery Program grant funding for law enforcement agencies and localities follows:GranteeOfficers AwardedAward AmountBellows Falls Village Corporation1$156,053Bennington County Sheriff s Department1$142,773Berlin Police Department1$196,960Brandon, Town of1$187,710Essex, Town of1$223,891Fair Haven Police Department1$178,018Franklin County Sheriff s Department1$176,132Grand Isle County Sheriff s Department1$119,872Hardwick Police Department1$214,256Hartford Police Department1$209,132Hinesburg, City of1$214,663Lamoille County Sheriff s Office1$208,917Lyndon, Town of1$171,510Montpelier Police Department1$209,571Newport, City of1$185,259Rutland County Sheriff s Department1$150,864Shelburne Police Department1$204,478Springfield Police Department1$227,023St. Albans Police Department1$228,684Swanton, Village of1$253,157Wilmington Police Department1$197,044Windham County Sheriff s Department2$318,600Windsor Police Department1$199,723Winhall, Village of1$252,105Winooski Police Department1$218,650State Total25Total Officers Awarded26Grand total for Vermont$5,045,045 Source: Leahy’s office. WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, July 28)last_img

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