Refund the Police: Feds shell out millions to help cities hire law enforcement

Amid a surge in urban crime, the Justice Department has awarded $139 million to 183 law enforcement agencies under a Clinton-era program designed to promote public safety through community policing.

Updated: November 27, 2021 - 12:19pm

A year after the defund the police movement briefly took center stage, the federal government is shelling out money to hire more officers.

The Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, a competitive award initiative created in 1994 under President Bill Clinton, has awarded $139 million to 183 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The money is designed to reduce crime and promote public safety through community policing.

In New Jersey, that translated to more than $11.7 million in grants to six local police departments to hire 72 new law enforcement professionals.

Nationally, the grants will help fund 1,066 full-time law enforcement members to address high rates of gun violence, build trust between law enforcement and communities, combat "hate and domestic extremism," and help police better respond to people in crisis.

Based on the numbers provided by the feds, in New Jersey, the grants average out to roughly $163,676 per job. That is above the national average of about $130,394 per job.

"Our first responders put their lives on the line every single day to keep our communities safe, running toward the danger instead of away," U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) said after meeting with Bergen County law enforcement officials.

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