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The city of Apache Junction has been selected to receive a federal grant that will fund the hiring of eight additional police officers.
The U.S. Department of Justice grants – announced this week – are part of $400 million in funding being sent to jurisdictions nationwide through the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services COPS Hiring Program. The city of Apache Junction was one of nine Arizona communities to receive grants.
“We are thankful to get federal support that directly helps us keep our community safe,” said Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy. “This grant is going to put more officers on the street and make our city an even better place to live, play, go to school and do business in.”
The Justice Department grants were awarded to 596 law enforcement agencies across the country, which will lead to the hire of 2,732 additional officers. The city applied for the grant on March 1.
“It also always gratifying to get an endorsement on our efforts to keep the community safe so we are very glad to have earned this grant from the Department of Justice,” said Apache Junction Police Chief Thomas E. Kelly. “We also like to thank our City Council and management in supporting us in pursuing these grants, showing their confidence in our continued pursuit of community programs.”
The “COPS” program is a competitive award program created to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing by proving direct funding for the hiring of career law enforcement offices, the department said. The hiring program also provides funding to state, local and tribal law enforcement to enhance local community policing strategies and tactics. In its announcement, the Justice Department said funding through the program had been on hold since 2018 due to a nationwide injunction that was lifted earlier this year.
“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,” U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr said in the announcement on June 2. “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.”
To learn more about the Justice Department programs, please visit https://www.cops.usdoj.gov.
Also receiving grants in Arizona were the Pima County and Coconino County Sheriff’s Offices, and police departments in Camp Verde, Maricopa, Nogales, Peoria, Sahuarita and Winslow.