DEARBORN - The Dearborn Police Department received a grant from the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program for more than $1,125,000 to put more police officers on the street.
This year, the program has a unique requirement: all new officers hired under the grant must be military veterans that have served at least 180 days of active service, which occurred on or after September 11, 2001.
"Today's announcement is especially rewarding," said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in a press release. "Not only will communities in Southeast Michigan be able to hire more police officers to keep families safe, but military veterans who have served since 2001 will be provided new job opportunities." The cities of Hamtramck, Taylor and Oak Park were also awarded similar grant.
The Congress of Arab American Organizations in Michigan (CAAO) sent a letter to Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly and Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad urging them to use the grant to hire officers that reflect the diversity in the city.
In the letter CAAO chairman Allie Berri writes, "We feel that it's vital that our city government employees, fire and police forces reflect the diverse populations they serve. By hiring officers from the community in which they serve, this will allow the police department and the City of Dearborn to better understand and assist residents from various backgrounds and will help to further community relations while building a stronger and more viable coalition between city government and residents."
“I am pleased to announce that, as a result of these grants, the citizens of Dearborn and Hamtramck will soon have additional officers on the streets to ensure that these communities remain safe and secure,” said U.S. Rep. John Conyers. “The COPS program has been a successful nationwide effort to stem the loss of valuable police officers and jobs due to local budget shortfalls.
The COPS Hiring Program (CHP) grant is intended to support the hiring and retention of full-time sworn officers. For more information on the COPS Program, visit: www.cops.usdoj.gov.