Barletta Announces COPS Grant for Hazleton Police Dept.
HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today announced that the City of Hazleton Police Department has been awarded a grant of $614,747 under the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. It is a three-year grant for two new full-time officers, covering nearly all salary and benefits. The COPS grant for Hazleton was awarded as part of $119.3 million announced nationally, funding a total of 918 new or rehired officers around the country.
“As a former mayor of Hazleton, I know how difficult it can be to make the budget stretch to fill the need for police officers and increased public safety,” Barletta said. “I am proud to have advocated for the COPS program while mayor and to have supported it since I have been in Congress. Our local police help keep our communities safe, and we must support them in any way we can.”
The COPS program awards grants to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. Since 1994, COPS has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.
Typically, a COPS grant will cover 75 percent of the cost of hiring, training, and equipping police officers, with the locality picking up the remaining 25 percent. In this case, the Hazleton Police Department was granted a waiver and will only have to provide approximately $24,000 in total over the three-year span of the grant.
“In this time of budget uncertainty, a grant like this is extremely helpful as we continue to serve the people of the Hazleton community,” said Jerry Speziale, Hazleton Chief of Police. “We thank Congressman Barletta for all of his efforts to support law enforcement and the people of this area.”