[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that seven Illinois agencies including the City of Chicago will receive a total of $5,250,000 in funding from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to recruit and hire post-9/11 veterans to serve as police officers and firefighters. Today’s funding is part of a nationwide announcement of $111 million in COPS grants that will be given to 220 different law enforcement agencies across the country with the aim of creating or saving approximately 800 law enforcement positions.
“Part of our commitment to the men and women who serve our country is to make sure they have the opportunity to transition back into civilian life,” said Durbin. “Today’s funding is an investment not only in the safety and security of Illinois communities, but also in the highly-skilled veterans who hope to continue serving their country through a career in law enforcement.”
“From Day one of my administration, I made the safety of our city my primary focus. I am thrilled that Chicago received the highest grant award possible and am grateful to Senators Durbin and Kirk for standing with me to ensure Chicago received this grant. I am committed to getting gangs, drugs and guns off our streets and will continue fighting to secure these types of resources in order to help make our city safer. Our residents, businesses and our children deserve nothing less. Working together with the Chicago Police Department, we will continue finding innovative new ways to get more officers out on our streets,” said Mayor Emanuel.
COPS grants go directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new and/or rehire career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts. All new law enforcement positions funded in the COPS 2012 Hiring Program must be filled by recent military veterans who have served at least 180 days since September 11, 2001. These Illinois COPS grants will provide enough funding to hire more than 40 officers. Under this announcement the following agencies will receive COPS grants:
- Bellwood Police Department - $250,000 in funding to hire or rehire 2 police officers;
- Belvidere Police Department - $250,000 in funding to hire or rehire 2 police officers;
- Chicago Heights Police Department - $500,000 in funding to hire or rehire 4 police officers;
- City of Chicago - $3,125,000 in funding to hire or rehire 25 police officers;
- Village of Gilberts - $125,000 in funding to hire or rehire one police officer;
- Round Lake Park Police Department - $125,000 in funding to hire or rehire one police officer; and
- Waukegan Police Department - $875,000 in funding to hire or rehire 7 police officers.