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Funding for community oriented policing efforts
By Lt. Roger Keener
Boost to public safety
-- The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has awarded the City of Hayward $3.6M to hire nine police officers to supplement current public safety efforts to reduce teen crime and truancy and bolster other community policing efforts across the City.
Like all local governments, Hayward has faced significant budget challenges in recent years; this Federal funding will allow the City to provide specialized police prevention and protection services to community members, including mentoring and teen programs. It will also strengthen community involvement in public safety programs and allow the City to maintain critical public safety resources during this time of economic crisis.
“The City of Hayward and the Hayward Police Department are exceptionally grateful to the COPS Office for recognizing that Hayward's needs were not overlooked, even though our City is situated squarely between Oakland and San Jose, two major cities that also have significant public safety concerns. We are very grateful for the support of Senators Boxer and Feinstein and, particularly, Congressman Stark. With this funding, the Hayward Police Department will be able to make a real and measurable difference in the excellent service provided to our residents,” said Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban expressed appreciation for the grant award.
Hayward was only one of only 220 cities nationwide to receive a combined total of $111M to pay for about 800 police officers. Hayward and other grantees, including Alameda County, were selected based on fiscal need, local crime rates and each agency’s strategy to address specific problems such as increased homicide rates and gun violence. The COPS Hiring Program is highly competitive and makes grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or re-hire community policing officers. The program provides the salary and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years.
As part of the program, Hayward has agreed to fill the police positions with veterans who served at least 180 days in the military since September 11, 2001.
COPS Director Bernard Melekian explained that the COPS program seeks to “promote public safety through community policing and that involves applying the resources available to areas with both legitimate need and do-able solutions.”
“The City is faced with making tough funding decisions during this extremely challenging economic time,” explained Mayor Michael Sweeney. “The Council has made public safety one of our highest priorities. We are pleased that the COPS program acknowledged our funding needs. The City maintains a strong commitment to supporting community policing and increasing efforts to ensure that Hayward is a city where residents feel safe.”