The U.S. Justice Department Awarded Fort Wayne a grant of nearly 1 million dollars to hire more police officers.
The Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program or (CHP) provides grant funding to state and local law enforcement agencies to support hiring additional police officers to focus on specific crime problems.
The Justice Department awarded a total of $98 million nationwide, and Fort Wayne received $875 thousand to hire 7 new officers. The department applied for the grant in June and they identified “homicide” as their problem area to target.
Fort Wayne Police Department Spokesperson, Officer Mike Joyner, says without the grant they wouldn’t be able to afford the new hires. Joyner says they decided to focus on homicides because they are the most egregious types of crimes.
“When we say homicides there is an emphasis placed on drugs and an emphasis placed on gangs,” said Joyner.
Out of over one thousand grant applications nationwide, only 16 percent were awarded. Joyner says receiving the grant is reflective of what the police department is doing to stay in tune with the community.
“We are looking to do outreach within the community. We’re working with Cities United which was brought under the umbrella with the police department,” added Joyner.
The police department anticipates the new hires will participate in the upcoming police academy in February. This will bring the total number of police officers to 473.
In a press release U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “We are pleased that the Northern Indiana Police Departments of Fort Wayne and Lafayette received funding to hire more officers. We have always and will continue to focus on cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement in our fight against crime.”
Lafayette and Fort Wayne were the only Indiana cities to be awarded the grant.