WASHINGTON (WPRI) — The U.S> Department of Justice announced Thursday more than $139 million in grant funding for law enforcement to advance community policing.
The grant through the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services COPS Hiring Program provides direct funding to 183 law enforcement agencies across the nation. Five Rhode Island communities were awarded funding totaling $750,000.
“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. “The grants we are announcing today will enable law enforcement agencies across the country to hire more than 1,000 additional officers to support vitally important community oriented policing programs.”
The following Rhode Island communities received awards:
- North Providence: $125,000
- Richmond: $125,000
- Scituate: $125,000
- Smithfield: $125,000
- Tiverton: $250,000
“Our local law enforcement partners play an integral role in the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy,” Acting U.S. Attorney Richard Myrus said. “The COPS hiring program and today’s grants reflect our commitment to local law enforcement, community-based policing, and to the broader goal of keeping the people of Rhode Island safe by reducing violent crime.”
Of the 183 agencies awarded grants, the DOJ says about half will use the funding to focus on building legitimacy and trust between law enforcement and the community, 41 will look at addressing high rates of gun violence, 21 will focus on other areas of violence, and 19 will focus on combating hate and domestic extremism or supporting police-based response to persons in crisis.