Posted on August 19, 2004
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that Knoxville will receive more than $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice to hire 12 additional law enforcement officers for community policing and homeland security activities. "This funding will bolster the safety of neighborhoods throughout Knoxville while creating new jobs," said Frist. "Protecting Tennesseans must be a top priority and I'm pleased that the Justice Department is assisting cities like Knoxville in this endeavor." "Law enforcement officers should have the tools they need to fight crime," said Alexander. "This grant will mean more policemen on patrol to keep Tennesseans safe. Senator Frist and I appreciate the Department of Justice for investing these resources in the Knoxville community." The grant for Knoxville, totaling $888,372, was awarded under the COPS Universal Hiring Program (UHP), which helps law enforcement agencies pay the salary and benefits of additional officers who will perform community policing and homeland security activities. The funding will be used to hire 12 full-time law enforcement officers in Knoxville. The program provides up the 75 percent of the total cost of salary and benefits of each new officer for three years, up to a maximum of $75,000 per officer. Local funds pay the remainder, and each grantee is required to retain the new positions for a minimum of one local budget cycle after the grant funds expire. Since 1995, COPS has helped over 13,000 law enforcement agencies make their communities safer by funding the hiring of more than 118,000 officers. In addition to assisting local law enforcement agencies expand their ranks, the COPS Office has been a catalyst for innovations in community policing. Statistics indicate that 86 percent of Americans are served by departments that employ community policing.