Contact: Sgt. Michelle Ramos, 210-207-7579 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thea Setterbo, 210-207-7349 email@example.com
SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 20, 2017) – The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services today announced $98,495,397 in grant funding to 179 law enforcement agencies across the nation through the COPS Hiring Program, allowing those agencies to hire 802 additional full-time law enforcement officers. The San Antonio Police Department is one of five agencies in the U.S. and two in Texas that received the maximum grant amount, allowing for the hiring of 25 additional officers with a focus on mitigating gun violence.
“We are pleased with this significant award that will help fund our continued efforts to stem violent crime in the community,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “The additional officer positions funded by this grant will make a real difference here in San Antonio.”
The DOJ awarded San Antonio $3,125,000 to support hiring additional law enforcement officers for three years to address specific crime problems through community policing strategies. In June 2017, San Antonio City Council approved a match funding contribution of $9,085,788 over four years if awarded the grant, including $1.03 million for Fiscal Year 2018.
“Since 2008, the Department of Justice has awarded the City of San Antonio more than $14 million to fund 79 positions within the police department,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “With this new funding, we will further expand our community policing efforts and continue the focus on our number one priority of providing the best public safety for our residents.”
The 25 positions funded through the COPS grant will be filled as part of Cadet Class 2018-B, which is scheduled to begin on April 16, 2018.
“SAPD continually strives to secure resources to strengthen existing programs, services and initiatives designed to significantly reduce crime throughout the community,” Police Chief William McManus said. “The COPS grant funding will impact critical programs, allowing the department to produce tangible results that will enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
Councilmembers Manny Palaez and Rey Saldaña, who chairs the City’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee, visited the Department of Justice in September in support of the City’s grant application.
“These efforts would not have been possible without the advocacy of our partners in Washington, D.C.,” Councilman Saldaña said. “We thank Senator Cornyn and Congressmen Cuellar, Castro and Hurd and our entire federal delegation for their support.”
SAPD officers funded through the grant will be assigned as follows:
• Gang Violence Reduction Program
Fifteen officers will be assigned as a uniformed detail focused on reducing gang violence, to include providing uniformed support to the Texas Anti-Gang (TAG) Program which consists of personnel from various local, State and Federal law enforcement agencies working in coordination to identify and reduce gang activity which is a major catalyst for violent crime.
• Violent Crime Intelligence Program
Six officers will be assigned to perform information and intelligence gathering related to violent crime incidents within San Antonio. These officers will liaison with other SAPD operational details, area law enforcement partners, various community organizations, and other stakeholders to improve information and intelligence sharing related to violent crime prevention efforts.
• NIBIN Program
Four officers will be assigned to support evidence collection and investigative lead coordination resulting from NIBIN system submissions associated with violent crime. These officers will liaison with follow up units to ensure ballistic information related to violent crime incidents is processed in an efficient and effected manner.
The complete list of award recipients can be found here.
The COPS Office awards grants to hire community policing officers, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.