Orange, East Orange Police Receive Federal COPS Grant

The Essex County Sheriff’s Office, along with the municipal police departments of Orange and East Orange, are the recipients of a federal COPS (Community Oriented Police) grant that will provide the three law enforcement agencies with $4.7 million in U. S. Department of Justice funds to hire a combined 32 police officers.

The announcement of the grant award was made in a public ceremony at Veterans Courthouse on October 5th.

A breakdown of the grant application reveals that The Essex County Sheriff's Office received $1.87 million for 15 officers, East Orange was awarded $1.375 million to fund 11 officers while Orange was awarded $1,408,050 for 6 police officers.

"It's more than just about having more officers, but having them in the same community every day, patrolling the streets, getting to know the residents and business owners," Menendez said. "When we deepen positive relationships through community policing principles—built on trust and mutual respect—our communities are better served and better protected."

Sheriff Armando Fontoura said the funding will have a tremendous positive impact for all Essex County residents.

“The announcement of today’s COPS grant is a most welcome development for the people of Essex County, especially in these most challenging times,” Sheriff Fontoura noted. “It will bolster our department’s ability to prevent crime through community policing programs and allow us to continue the protection of our youngsters as they travel to and from school via safe corridors. All of us understand that public safety and a safe and secure environment are our first and foremost priority.”

In East Orange, officials said the grant money has previously been used to fund police officers in city schools, known as school resource officers. East Orange Mayor Lester E. Taylor III pointed to a host of new community policing initiatives announced under his administration, including joint patrols with nearby towns, reinstating the Police Athletic League and programs to address school incidents.

“Keeping our neighborhoods and streets safe is our top priority,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. “We appreciate Sens. Robert Menendez, Cory Booker and Rep. Payne for directing more resources to our Essex County Sheriff’s Office and the municipal police departments in Orange and East Orange. The additional funds will enable us to hire additional officers.”

The COPS program was designed to advance public safety by addressing the full-time officer needs of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

COPS provides funds directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new and/or rehire career law officers, and to increase crime prevention efforts.