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Grant to revive street crimes unit, if accepted by City Council
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The Turlock Police Department has been granted $500,000 that could be used to hire four officers. - photo by Journal file photo

The Turlock Police Department has been awarded a half million dollar grant to hire new officers, but it will be up to the Turlock City Council if it is accepted or not.

The Turlock Police Department was one of 12 agencies to be awarded one of the Community Oriented Policing Services grant from the Department of Justice. TPD has been granted $500,000 that could be used to hire four officers.

The COPS Hiring Program offers grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community policing officers. The program provides salaries and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years. Grantees for the 2014 hiring program were selected based on their fiscal needs, local crime rates, and community policing plans.

The $500,000 would cover about 40 percent of the cost of the new hires and the city would have to subsidize the remaining amount, said Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson. The police department is looking at funding options to cover the additional costs.

The Turlock City Council is expected to decide if the city can handle the additional costs not covered by the grant at the Oct. 14 meeting.

If the grant is accepted the police department would use it to reinstate the street crimes unit, Jackson said.

Nearly $124 million will be awarded nationally to law enforcement agencies across the country.

“The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country in addressing their most critical public safety issues,” said Ronald L. Davis, Director of the COPS Office. “Funding from this year’s program will allow many cities and counties to apply new sworn personnel to issues related to violent crime, property crime, and school safety.”

The COPS Office is responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, COPS has awarded more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 125,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, and technical assistance.

The list of this year’s COPS grantees within the Eastern District of California are: City of Alturas, Anderson Police Department, City of Atwater, Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, City of Chowchilla, Madera Police Department, City of McFarland, Orange Cove Police Department, Placerville Police Department, Sacramento Police Department, City of Stockton, and the Turlock Police Department.