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March 3, 2010 > California COPS grant helps combat gang activity

California COPS grant helps combat gang activity

By Shavon Walker

Union City Council accepted and appropriated the 2009-10 state of California Citizen's Option for Public Safety (COPS) Grant. The funds will be used for personnel costs.

The state has allocated Union City a minimum of $100,000 solely for "front line municipal police services." The grant has been released in quarterly installments because of state budget problems. To date, the city has received $32,984.60. It is estimated the minimum $100,000 will be received for 2009-10. State law requires a public hearing to decide how to use the funds which must be budgeted by June 30, 2010. It must be spent by June 30, 2012. If it is not, the monies are given back to the state.

Union City Police Department (UCPD) wishes to fund a number of personnel costs. This includes a Southern Alameda County Gang Violence Suppression (GVS) Task Force detective for fiscal year 2010-11. The city's fiscal position means GVS officers must support Patrol Operations to ensure minimum public safety levels unless additional funding is available. Diverting GVS resources limits the Task Force's ability to combat gang activity in certain parts of the city. The COPS grant and funds from the 2009 Justice Assistance Grant/American Recovery and Reinvestment Act should fund the position for FY 2010-11.

Applying these monies to personnel costs would maximize resources and allow UCPD to provide enhanced and continued services to the community.

In FY 2009-10, the city provided funding of $201,231, courtesy of Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Formula monies. There is no guarantee the city will receive further Byrne JAG Formula funds next fiscal year; consequently, the adopted General Fund FY 2010-11 budget, which assumed funding support for the GVS Task Force detective, will be reduced by $100,000.

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