Tucson, Ariz. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today highlighted new Department of Justice grants to the City of Casa Grande and the Gila River Indian Community through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program. The City of Casa Grande will receive $875,000 and the tribe will receive $125,000.
The funds will help law enforcement agencies hire military veterans as law enforcement officers and increase community policing and crime prevention efforts. The program provides the salary and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years. Along with the pledge to hire military veterans, grantees for the 2012 Hiring Program were selected based on fiscal need, local crime rates and recipient agencies’ strategies to address homicide and gun violence.
All COPS funds for fiscal year 2012 are dedicated to hiring military veterans with at least 180 days of active military service, including some portion after Sept. 11, 2001. The local grants are part of this year’s national $111 million federal COPS effort.
“Veterans returning home deserve as much job assistance and professional outreach as we can offer, and this is an excellent way to make their transition back to civilian life as smooth as possible,” Grijalva said. “When people talk about making big budget cuts for the middle class, these are the kinds of programs they mean even if they don’t say so. We need to protect COPS funding and make sure veterans have chances to find civilian work. It’s that simple.”
Since 1995, COPS has awarded more than $12 billion to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal recipients to advance community policing and fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 124,000 officers.