By: Najla Alexander
Carteret officials announced that the Borough has received a $625,000 competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program to hire five new police officers.
Mayor Daniel J. Reiman said that the COPS Office received 654 applications, according to the Department of Justice, but only 394 were awarded funds from the $216,809,571 million allocated to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
"We appreciate the Department of Justice for funding the COPS Hiring Program for the Borough of Carteret," Mayor Reiman said.
"We want to express our deep gratitude to Congressman Pallone for his career-long support for the USDOJ COPS initiatives and President Biden and allocating funding to increase police hiring initiatives around the nation. This commitment to bolstering our law enforcement efforts is particularly significant for our community."
"It has been quite some time since the Borough of Carteret last received funding under the COPS program, with President Clinton's administration being the last to provide support. This renewed support from the federal government couldn't have come at a more crucial time, as it will greatly aid in addressing several pressing issues within our community."
"The funding allocated through the COPS Hiring Program will serve as a lifeline for our police department, enabling us to increase our staffing levels and provide the much-needed resources to continue our fight against crime. With this support, we can further enhance our efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents."
"In recent years, the community of Carteret has faced various challenges related to public safety while working tirelessly to combat crime and maintain a secure environment for residents," Police Chief Dennis McFadden said.
"This will allow us to build stronger relationships with our residents, fostering a sense of trust and collaboration that is crucial for effective crime reduction," the Chief said.
"We understand that public safety is a shared responsibility, and we are committed to working hand in hand with our federal partners, our state, and our local community to ensure that our streets are safe and our neighborhoods remain vibrant and thriving."
The grant is designed to provide funding directly to law enforcement agencies to hire and/or rehire additional career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts, according to the Justice Department.
Anticipated outcomes of the CHP program awards include engagement in planned community partnerships, implementation of projects to analyze and assess problems, implementation of changes to personnel and agency management in support of community policing, and increased capacity of the agency to engage in community policing activities, the Justice Department stated.
"For almost 30 years, the COPS Office has worked to reduce crime and increase trust between law enforcement and the community through the many different grant programs that we offer," COPS Office Director Hugh T. Clements stated.
"This funding will go a long way toward advancing this very important work."
According to officials, the CHP awards provided up to 75 percent of the approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits of full-time officers for 36 months, with a minimum of 25 percent local cash match per officer position and a maximum federal share of $125,000 per officer position.
Awards are five years long to allow time for recruitment and hiring before the 36 months of salary funding begins, officials said.
Officials say any additional costs for salaries and fringe benefits higher than entry-level are the responsibility of the recipient agency.
At the conclusion of 36 months of federal funding, recipients must retain all sworn officer positions awarded under the CHP award for a minimum of 12 months through state or local funds, authorities say.