Turlock City Mayor John Lazar, City Manager Roy Wasden and Chief of Police Gary Hampton received official notice today from the United States Department of Justice that the City of Turlock was awarded a three year COPS Hiring Recovery Program grant of $1,173,228 to hire four police officer positions eliminated from the 2008/09 and 2009/10 budgets. The grant, administered by the Office of Community Policing Services, is part of $1 billion in grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of 4,699 law enforcement officers nationwide under the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009. Funds have been awarded to 1046 law enforcement agencies from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.
The grant will provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for entry level police officer positions over a three year period. Police departments receiving the COPS Hiring Recovery Program grants will then be required to retain the grant funded positions for a fourth year. Turlock Police intend to combine these funds with other grant funds to fully cover the recruitment, hiring, outfitting with required equipment, and associated costs of the new police officers positions during the three year grant period. Federal funds must be utilized to supplement existing state and local funds for program activities and must not replace those funds that have been earmarked for the same purpose.
During 2006, the Turlock City Council approved the Turlock Police Department’s 2007-2009 Strategic Plan designed to enhance public safety. The plan’s strategic priorities are “Plan for Organizational Structure and Growth,” “Enhance Internal Communications,” “Develop Proactive and Preventative Policing Strategies,” and “Develop Succession Planning and Management Process.” Serious crimes in Turlock decreased by 11% during 2008 before the downturn in the economy required a reduction in spending across the City. The City experienced the loss of 23 full-time employees through lay-offs and elimination of positions including five police officer positions.
For more information about the COPS Hiring Recovery grants, or to learn which law enforcement agencies received funding, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.