With crime on the rise, news of Representative Jeff Denham's (R-Turlock) help in procuring a $500,000 grant for the Turlock Police Department from the Department of Justice (DOJ) comes as welcome to the Turlock community.
In July, Denham wrote a letter to the DOJ’s office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) in support of a grant that the Turlock Police Department applied for that would allow four new officers to be hired and reinstate their Street Crimes Unit.
Budget cuts have been a significantly apparent issue in terms of public safety. In a 12 month span, the Turlock Police Department saw five officers leave to other agencies. The Department has since sworn in two officers and sent three officer trainees to the Academy, but still remain short-staffed.
The Street Crimes Unit had previously been proactive in seeking out gang members, violent criminals, utilizing parole/probation tools, and implementing a community education component.
The awarded grants are only permitted to provide up to 75 percent of the approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits of full-time officers for a 36-month grant period. There is a minimum 25 percent local cash match requirement of the $500,000 grant.
This means that the Turlock City Council must authorize and commit to spending at least $125,000, 25 percent of the grant, in order to receive it.
“The return of the proactive Unit will allow intelligence information sharing enabling sworn personnel to operate more efficiently,” said Denham. “Officers will not only know who the gang members are, but will know who the stakeholders are, allowing relationships to be built in the community and a community policy strategy to be upheld.”
Should the Turlock City Council appropriate the minimum amount of funds necessary to secure the Federal grant, the City has the potential to combat and curb increasingly high crime rates.