GPD, county looking for COPS grants

Published 10:57 am Friday, April 3, 2009

Both the Greenville Police Department and Butler County Sheriff’s Office are taking advantage of the federal government’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP), applying for grants that would add more personnel to city and county law enforcement.

The city’s police department has applied for over $600,000, funding that would provide salaries and benefits for six additional police officers for three years, said police chief Lonzo Ingram.

“We feel we’ve got a pretty good chance to get this,” he said.

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Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said his office has applied for $480,000 through the CHRP. Approval of the grant would allow the county to add four new deputies.

“With four more deputies we’d be able to go 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Harden.

Currently, the sheriff’s office operates on two shifts, with four deputies on patrol from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and two deputies working a four p.m. to 1 a.m. shift.

Chief Investigator Travis Johnson, who is coordinating the grant applications, said the sheriff’s office is also seeking funds for equipment, such as forensics and drug testing kits, as well as a money to add an administrative position.

The government’s $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – or economic stimulus package – provides for more than $1 billion in funding for CHRP. The funds require no local match. Grants are competitive and grantees must agree to retain all sworn officers approved by the program at the end of the three-year federal funding period.

The program is funded through the Department of Justice.