DOJ Issues $98 Million in Grants to Hire More Police Officers

By Kenrya Rankin Nov 20, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today (November 20) that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will award $98,495,397 in grants to help 179 law enforcement agencies across the country hire a total of 802 new full-time officers. The grans will be administered by the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

The decision to put more police officers on the beat falls in line with Session’s previous decisions to reverse the ban on private prisons, “pull back” on prosecuting police officers who violate the civil rights of the people they are sworn to serve, direct federal prosecutors to seek mandatory minimum sentences for people accused of drug-related crimes, “review” all agreements previously reached with police departments to reverse policies that disproportionately harm people of color, end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and withhold funding from municipalities that operate as sanctuaries for immigrants.

Per the DOJ, applicants that agreed to help the federal government detain immigrants were more likely to receive one of the new grants. From a statement about the program:

In September, the Justice Department announced additional priority consideration criteria for FY2017 COPS Office grants. Applicants were notified that their application would receive additional points in the application scoring process by certifying their willingness to cooperate with federal immigration authorities within their detention facilities. Cooperation may include providing access to detention facilities for an interview of aliens in the jurisdiction’s custody and providing advance notice of an alien’s release from custody upon request. Eighty percent of the awarded agencies received additional points based on their certifications of willingness to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” Sessions said in the statement. “Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration. I continue to encourage every jurisdiction in America to collaborate with federal law enforcement and help us make this country safer.”

The recipients are listed here, broken down by state.