WASHINGTON - The US Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has announced funding awards to more than 220 cities and counties, including Atlanta - which are aimed at creating or saving about 800 law enforcement positions.
More than $111 million is being awarded to local agencies nationally. In addition to Atlanta, this year's grantees include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston, Trenton, NJ; Alameda Co., Calif.; Los Angeles; Akron, and Tacoma.
"Since we got into office, the President and I have been committed to helping our returning heroes find jobs and transition back into civilian life. A lot of them want to keep serving now that they're back, and these COPS Grants help give them that chance," said Vice President Joe Biden in a release.
The announcement builds on several steps the Obama Administration has taken to support veterans in finding work - including through the creation of new tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, challenging the private sector to train or hire 100,000 veterans by 2013, helping veterans obtain industry-recognized credentials and licenses, and increasing access to intensive reemployment services.
The COPS Hiring Program makes grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community policing officers. The program provides the salary and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years. Along with the pledge to hire military veterans, grantees for the 2012 Hiring Program were selected based on fiscal need and local crime rates.