Washington – U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and U.S. Representatives Marion Berry (AR-01), Vic Snyder (AR-02), and Mike Ross (AR-04) today announced that 16 Arkansas police departments will receive a total of $8,683,270 to hire 60 new officers. The funds will provide up to 75 percent of the officers’ total salary and benefits for three years; state or local funds pay the remainder. The funds were allocated through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and paid for through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The funds will be distributed as follows:
City of Ward Police Department, 1 officer, $128,809
City of Cotton Plant, 1 officer, $64,981
City of Hot Springs, 2 officers, $321,522
Jonesboro Police Department, 7 officers, $1,008,574
Lake Village Police Department, 1 officer, $110,664
Little Rock Police Department, 20 officers, $3,043,680
City of Madison, 1 officer, $84,972
Marianna Police Department, 1 officer, $94,808
City of Montrose, 1 officer, $94,797
Morrilton Police Department, 1 officer, $144,378
Nashville Police Department, 1 officer, $117,417
North Little Rock Police Department, 9 officers, $1,455,849
Osceola Police Department, 1 officer, $123,371
City of Pine Bluff, 7 officers, $1,013,656
Texarkana Police Department, 4 officers, $678,400
City of West Helena, 2 officers, $197,392
“Keeping crime to a minimum can be a challenge for police departments that are inadequately funded. With these recovery dollars, Arkansas police departments will be able to hire additional qualified officers to help keep our communities safe for residents and visitors. I’ll continue to fight for Arkansas to ensure that we have the federal resources and support we need to stay safe and strong,” said Lincoln.
“During tough economic times, demand on law enforcement significantly increase. These economic recovery funds will ensure law enforcement agencies across Arkansas have the officers they need to meet emerging challenges and keep our communities safe,” Pryor said.
“This funding will help our state keep and create jobs for our local law enforcement officers,” said Berry. “At a time when our police officers are forced to do more with less resources, this funding will help support their efforts to keep our communities safe.”
“Police officers are key components of good law enforcement, and solid law enforcement is fundamental to keeping our communities safe and effective. I am so happy to see Arkansas receive stimulus funding to hire new officers; our communities need this money,” said Snyder.
“Our communities depend on local law enforcement having the staff and resources they need to keep our families safe,” said Ross. “Public safety should remain a top priority regardless of the current economic situation. These recovery funds will be critical to help ensure our local communities have the police force they need to quickly answer the needs of their citizens.”
COPS grants are intended to enhance the community policing capacity of local law enforcement agencies that have a combination of high crime rates and a low officer to citizen ratio as reported through the national Uniform Crime Report.
Since 1995, COPS has funded the hiring of nearly 117,000 police officers and developed numerous technical assistance resources for law enforcement. All jurisdictions that receive grants must retain COPS-funded officer positions for at least one complete budget cycle following the three-year federal funding period.