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
“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.