Bayonne will receive $1.5 million from the Department of Justice to hire 12 new police officers, officials have announced.
The funding is part of an $11.7 million grant for New Jersey provided through the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. Mayor James Davis credited Bayonne’s representatives in both houses of Congress, including Rep. Donald Payne Jr., for helping to secure the funding.
“I am proud to help Bayonne get funds to hire more police officers to expand community policing initiatives, including crime prevention,” said Payne. “I would encourage all the law enforcement agencies in my district to apply for similar grants in the future.”
The goal is to help add more officers to the force, with the intention of bringing the total up to 190. Interviews for the new officers are already under way. The new class of recruits is anticipated to attend the Hudson County Police Academy in January of 2022.
The city previously allocated $1.3 million in federal funds from funds it received as part of the American Rescue Plan to help hire more police officers, in efforts to bring the force back to pre-COVID numbers. The department faced a number of retirements amid the pandemic, officials said.
Federal grant funding
The COPS Hiring Program is a competitive award program which aims to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing by providing funds directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire additional law enforcement officers.
“We are committed to providing police departments with the resources needed to help ensure community safety and build community trust,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “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 funding announced today will help make our neighborhoods safer and build trust between local law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve,” Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig said. “Community-oriented policing has led to great strides in many of our New Jersey communities, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen those programs moving forward.”
Overall, COPS will award $139 million in funding to 183 community law enforcement agencies, allowing them to hire 1,066 full-time law enforcement professionals. For more information, call 202-514-9079.
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