July 28, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $1 Million of Economic Recovery Act Funding Coming to Poughkeepsie Police Department to Hire or Rehire 5 Officers; Funds Will Ensure Safer Streets

With Recession Hurting Town and City Budgets Across Hudson Valley Region, COPS Program Will Keep More Cops on the Beat and Enhance Safety Across the Region

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that $1,050,400 in Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants will be awarded to the Poughkeepsie Police Department. The funding, coming through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will support the hiring or rehiring of up to five police officers to ensure that the agencies have adequate staff through the economic downturn. Schumer, joined by Mayor John Tkazkyi and Police Chief Ron Knapp, visited Poughkeepsie in February of this year and committed to working toward securing the dollars necessary to help the City fight rising crime.

"Keeping cops on the beat is one of the best impacts of the Economic Recovery Act. These federal dollars are absolutely essential to budget-stressed local law enforcement in places like Poughkeepsie," said Schumer. "In these tough economic times, where budgets are being stretched to the limit, these funds will save our law enforcement agencies from taking the dangerous step of eliminating officers from their ranks. I have worked continuously for stimulus funding to keep cops on the streets, and will continue to fight for more resources to keep our communities safe."

"Law enforcement agencies in New York have been squeezed by budget cuts, forced to lay off critical personnel, and reduce key crime prevention programs," said Senator Gillibrand. "These COPS grants will make our streets safe, neighborhoods secure, and create new jobs in law enforcement. Protecting our families and communities is the highest priority of our law enforcement professionals, and protecting jobs for New York is my highest priority."

The funding is being allocated as part of the COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP), which will award a total of $1 billion in ARRA funding to 1,046 law enforcement agencies nationwide to either create or preserve officer positions. CHRP funding will ensure that state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies have the necessary resources to maintain their community policing capacity at a time when city and town budgets have threatened forces with painful cuts. CHRP grants fully fund entry-level salaries and benefits for three years for newly-hired, full-time sworn officers, and can fund officers recently laid off or scheduled to be laid off due to local budget cuts.