The Department of Justice awarded more than $32 million to 26 Florida law enforcement agencies on Tuesday to help departments hire more officers as part of the organization’s Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program.
“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.”
In total, law enforcement agencies in Florida were awarded $32,805,351 to add 296 deputies and officers to the streets.
The list of 26 Florida agencies include the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Miami-Dade Metro, the Orlando Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Nationally, $400 million was awarded to 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation, allowing those agencies to hire 2,732 additional full-time law enforcement officers.
The COPS hiring program is a competitive award program intended to promote community policing, reduce crime and advance public safety by adding officers to a department’s force.
It is also intended to help law enforcement agencies through economic uncertainty.
“In a changing economic climate, CHP funding helps law enforcement agencies maintain sufficient sworn personnel levels to promote safe communities,” DOJ said in the announcement.
The DOJ received nearly 1,100 applications requesting more than 4,000 law enforcement positions.
Applicants for the grant were required to identify specific crime and disorder areas in their community and explain how they would use the funds to address issues.
According to the DOJ, 43% of the funds will focus on violent crime and the remainder will address issues including school resource officers, opioid education, and community policing efforts.
A complete list of departments, additional positions and awarded funding can be found online.