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2014 COPS hiring program to be posted

The US Department of Justice has just announced that the 2014 COPS Hiring Program (Grant) will be open for application mid- to late May.  This program is designed to advance public safety through community policing by address the full-time officer needs of state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies nationwide. All awards are subject to the availability of appropriated funds (as approved by Congress).

Now is the time to download the documents, read the support materials and complete your plan for hiring additional officers.  The program application, frequently asked Questions and the program guide are available at the COPS website.

This grant will provide up to 75% of the approved entry-level positions and fringe benefits of full-time officers for a 36 month period. A minimum of 25% local cash match the salary and fringe is required.  Each agency may up to the cap of $125,000 per officer position. Additionally, each agency my request no more than 5% of their actual sworn force strength as reported at the time of application.  Agencies with a population of 1 million may apply for up to 25 officer positions. Waiver requests for some or the applicant’s entire local match will be evaluated based on criteria of demonstrated severe fiscal distress.  At the end of the 36 months of grants funding, the grantee must retain the sworn officer positions for 12 months.

New additional consideration will be given to applicants who select one of four new categories of community policing:

• Homeland Security: To include protecting critical infrastructures, information/intelligence problems, and other homeland security problems.

• Homicide/Gun Violence: The COPS Office supports the attorney general’s priority goal of reducing violent crime, especially if it is gun related.

• School-Based Policing through SROs: Applicants requesting officer positions(s) in order to deploy SROs must deploy all their officer positions as SROs. Moreover, if awarded CHP fund­ing, CHP grantees that chose this specific community policing problem area will not be allowed to change it post-award. CHP grantees that use CHP funding to deploy SROs will also be required to submit to the COPS Office the contact information for each school partner where they intend to deploy the SROs, and to provide a Memorandum of Understanding between the CHP grantee and the school partner.

• Trust Problems: To include issues of fairness and impartiality, transparency problems, respect problems, and other trust-related problems.

Please note that agencies who select any of the above categories will not be allowed to change this selection once the grant has been awarded.   Additional consideration will be given to:

• Applicants who have experienced an unanticipated catastrophic event. Applicants indicating that they have experienced an unanticipated catastrophic event will be required to submit an attachment documenting the event or incident as part of their application. ..

• Applicants that have a neighborhood or other geographic area designated as a Promise Zone as part of the President’s Promise Zone Initiative. (San Antonio TX, Los Angeles CA, Philadelphia , PA, Southeastern Kentucky and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) 

• Applicants who commit to hire at least one military veteran. These military veterans may be in any of the three hiring categories; new hire, rehire or rehire scheduled to be laid off.

If you are interested in hiring at least one military veteran, the agency will receive additional consideration for CHP funding.  This means that those agencies which do hire veterans will get rated higher than those who do not.

Each application will be asked to identify and select a specific crime and disorder program and to define how the 2014 CHP will be used to build your capacity to implement community policing strategies to address and reduce that problem. The highest ranked applications will address “Homicide/Gun Violence, Homeland Security Problems or Trust Problem or School Resource Officers” as their focus area.

Available at the COPS website is a CHP Fact Sheet. This document will provide you with summary of resources, websites and publications to better enable the police department to recruit, hire and retain officers. I strongly encourage you to read and give careful consideration by you department to implement and follow recommendations from these resources. This will enhance your chances of a grant award. Topics such as Innovations in hiring and recruitment, a recruitment toolkit, recruitment and retention for the new millennium and combat deployment and the returning office are some of the resources provided.

So let’s review.  Your department’s application will be given “additional consideration” (a better ranked application ) if you select one of the four suggested areas above, read the fact sheet, review the publications and resources provided and identify how the targeted area you selected based on justification of that selection using your crime statistics.  You must carefully complete your application by making sure you have correctly addressed each section of the application.

And make sure you download all documents and read them carefully!

Best wishes with your grant endeavors!

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