WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today announced that four Rhode Island law enforcement agencies are receiving a total of $636,207 to add five more police officers to patrols this year.  The Middletown Police Department will receive $250,000 to hire two officers; the City of Central Falls will receive $136,207 to hire one officer; Richmond Police Department will receive $125,000 to hire one officer; and the West Greenwich Police Department will receive $125,000 to hire one officer.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, these COPS Hiring Program (CHP) grants will help put more police officers on the streets, reduce crime, and help these cities fill budget gaps

“This federal investment will help put more cops on the beat in communities across Rhode Island to help keep our neighborhoods safe.  Our police officers do an outstanding job and these funds will give local police departments critical resources to continue their important work,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who helped create the COPS program in the 1990s and serves on the Appropriations subcommittee which oversees COPS funding.

“I’m proud to announce this federal grant, which will help Rhode Island law-enforcement agencies hire the staff they need to keep our neighborhoods and families safe,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who wrote letters in support of the towns' grant applications.

This year’s CHP grants provide 75 percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and benefits for three years for newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions (including filling existing unfunded vacancies) or for rehired officers who have been laid off, or are scheduled to be laid off on a future date, as a result of local budget cuts. 

$125 million in CHP grants were awarded to 263 different local law enforcement agencies across the country.  Grantees for the 2013 hiring program were selected based on their fiscal needs, local crime rates, and their community policing plans.  This year, there was an additional focus on agencies requesting assistance in developing school safety programs that would include the hiring of a school resource officer to work within a school district or facility, interacting directly with school administrators and students.