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 police officers.
The grant funding comes through the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and will be awarded to 183 law enforcement agencies across the country and in U.S. territories.
The funding is meant to help police departments reduce crime and to encourage community policing.
Read more: Unvaccinated Police Officer Dies of COVID-19
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.
In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “We are committed to providing police departments with the resources needed to help ensure community safety and build community trust.”
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.
However, some disagree with this decision, saying that hiring more police officers will not reduce crime especially in marginalized communities.
The New York Times writes, “Overall, more Black lives were saved than white lives when police officers were added, but in Southern cities with larger Black populations the homicide rate did not budge, according to an early draft of the paper.
And more officers made arrests for low-level offenses like alcohol-related infractions, which are not typically seen as contributing to public safety.
More police officers may also mean that cities incur the cost of more police violence, more legal settlements and more protests.”
This new funding will hire about 1,066 new police officers across 100 police departments all over the country.
Stay updated with more news here at the East County Gazette.