November 20, 2017

Justice Department doles out nearly $100 million to hire 802 more cops around the country

The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services program announced Monday the release of millions of dollars in grant funding that will be used to hire 802 full-time law enforcement officers around the country.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced 179 law enforcement agencies nationwide will receive the $98.5 million in grant funding through the COPS Hiring Program.

The grants will also be used to hire police in the five inhabited U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

The agencies that receive the money applied for the grants in September, and were told they would “receive additional points in the application scoring process” by certifying that they were in compliance with federal immigration law.

“Cooperation may include providing access to detention facilities for an interview of aliens in the jurisdiction’s custody and providing advance notice of an alien’s release from custody upon request,” a Justice Department official said, adding that 80 percent of the 179 awarded agencies received those additional points.

The official said more than 1,100 law enforcement agencies applied for the Cops Hiring Program grants.

Metropolitan Dade County and Orange County Sheriff’s Office — both in Florida — each got enough money to each hire 25 more officers. The San Antonio Police Department will also hire 25 new officers.

The City of Chicago, which has publicly sparred with Sessions about his designation of the city as a so-called sanctuary city, will be able to hire 25 new officers with $3.1 million in funding.

“Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration. I continue to encourage every jurisdiction in America to collaborate with federal law enforcement and help us make this country safer,” Sessions said Monday.

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