Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder are about to start a news conference in City Hall with Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and the governors of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. PhillyClout is there and just confirmed that the city will will receive $10.9 million to put 50 more police officers on the street.
This is part of $1 billion in new spending for the Community Oriented Policing Services [COPS] program, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The money will pay 100 percent of the salary and benefits for the 50 new cops for three years.
Ramsey said the federal funding will allow his department to replenish its ranks. "We're slightly under strength now due to attrition," Ramsey said. "What this does, it allows us to replace some."
UPDATE, 10:35 am: Holder said the U.S. Department of Justice received more than 4,000 applications from cities and towns for COPS funding. The $1 billion will be used to hire 4,700 police officers across the country. The money, he said, can be used to hire new police officers or to fund the salaries of officers due to be laid off.
UPDATE, 11 am: Biden said it would cost $8.2 billion to fund all of the 39,000 police positions proposed in the more than 4,000 applications. He touted a request from President Obama for funding to add another 50,000 cops to forces across the country. "We can’t achieve the goal of a stronger communities without stronger police forces," Biden said. "We know the great strain this recession has put on every police department, every governor, every mayor."
For Immediate Release
July 28, 2009
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN, ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER ANNOUNCE RECOVERY ACT FUNDING FOR PENNSYLVANIA TO SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT
Recovery Act Funds to Add Police Officers in Pennsylvania; Build Safer Communities
Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced $1 billion in grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of law enforcement officers all across the country under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The grants will be awarded to 1,046 law enforcement agencies from all 50 states, including more than $20,163,683 in grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of 93 law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania. These funds will provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for these officers for three years. All police departments receiving the grants will then be required to retain the grant-funded positions for a fourth year.
“A big part of the Recovery Act is about building communities – making them as strong as they can be, allowing every American family to live a better life than the one they are leading now,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “And we can’t achieve the goal of stronger communities without supporting those who keep our streets safe.”
The Recovery Act grants, which will be administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program, provide much needed financial support to state, local and tribal governments, and will help the nation’s law enforcement agencies add and retain the manpower needed to fight crime more effectively through community policing. The Department of Justice received over 7,200 applications for more than 39,000 officer positions, representing a total of $8.3 billion in requested funding.
“These Recovery Act funds will pump much needed resources into communities through a program with a proven track record,” said Attorney General Holder. “The tremendous demand for these grants is indicative of both the tough times our states, cities and tribes are facing, and the unyielding commitment by law enforcement to making our communities safer.”