Paterson Police Department is set to receive $1.6 million in federal grant to hire 10 new police officers, according to an announcement issued by Bill Pascrell, congressman representing New Jersey’s 9th District.
The department will receive $1,672,510 in grant money from the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. “As local police departments face increasing budget constraints, we need to ensure the safety of our communities does not suffer,” said Pascrell in a statement.
The department in the past years has gone through repeated lay-offs due to city’s budget problems. In 2011, the city laid-off 125 officers, resulting in delayed response times for emergencies; there have been reports of individuals dialing 911 after an automobile accident only to wait more than 4 hours without ever having a police officer to complete a report.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to receive these federal funds because adding ten additional officers to our force will help strengthen our ability to keep the streets of Paterson safe,” said Glenn Brown, the city’s public safety director, who oversees both the police and fire departments.
“CHP grants go directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new and/or rehire career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts,” according to Pascrell’s office.
Brown tanked the congressman for coming through on his promise; Pascrell stated his intentions in August during an event on Carroll Street, where he stated he would do everything in his power to procure funding for the police, in order to improve the crime situation in the city. “I thank Congressman Pascrell for fighting on behalf of police officers across our nation to ensure they have the resources they need to keep our communities safe,” said Brown.