The Department of Justice is giving $139 million to police departments across the country as part of a program that will hire more than 1,000 new officers.
The funds were awarded through the DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and will go to more than 100 police departments across the country, for a total of 1,066 new hires.
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“We are committed to providing police departments with the resources needed to help ensure community safety and build community trust,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
Per a press release, the money is designed to help police reduce crime and support community-oriented policing programs.
The hires come at a difficult time for many departments, which face rising costs, resignations, and difficulties recruiting amid protests and a national reckoning over the role of police in the country. Some police union leaders have also fiercely opposed vaccine mandates that could further reduce the hiring pool. Calls to defund the police have diminished in the last few months but have continued among some on the Left.
The DOJ said half of the grant funding will focus on "building legitimacy and trust between law enforcement and communities." Other focuses include reducing gun violence and combating domestic extremism.
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Among the recipients are police departments in Washington, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, and St. Paul, along with dozens of smaller agencies. Large departments are hiring as many as 50 officers with the funding, while smaller ones from places including Smyrna, Delaware, and West Park, Florida, are hiring just one.