U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand
today announced that $694,860 in Department of Justice Community Oriented
Policing Services (COPS) grants will be awarded to the Utica Police Department.
The funding, coming through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA),
will support the hiring or rehiring of up to four police officers to ensure
that the agencies have adequate staff through the economic downturn.
“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 Utica,” 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
“Since taking office, I’ve worked to propel public safety
to a new level. That meant making real investments in policing,” said Mayor
Roefaro. “Whether tasers, new police cars, cameras in patrol cars, or hiring
more officers, I’ve worked to invest resources so other resources would follow.
Our recently enacted Gun Offender Registry and public safety center on James
Street echoes the intent of COPS funding- to catalyze community policing.
There is no doubt that the federal government took notice of Utica’s recent
efforts, no doubt they knew what Utica has been doing, and the credit for that
goes to Senator Schumer. He’s not only just a phone call away, but just as I
invest in public safety, he has invested his time to vigorously represent us.
This $694,860 will allow us to continue to keep crime at its lowest level in 6
years, while engaging, really engaging, the people we protect.”
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.