Mayor Andre Sayegh on Friday morning said the city has been awarded a $1.88 million federal grant to hire more police officers.
Sayegh said funds from the U.S. Department of Justice’s COPS Hiring Program (CHP) Program will allow Paterson to add 10 new police officers.
“Getting 10 more police officers will help us get more guns off our streets,” said Sayegh in a news conference at City Hall.
Sayegh said police recovered over 102 guns in Paterson so far this year.
Police have been severely understaffed in Paterson. There are approximately 360 police officers after a big retirement last year. This represents the fewest officers since the big layoff nearly a decade ago.
“This is a grant that directly goes into fighting the gun violence,” said public safety director Jerry Speziale.
Grant will cover salaries of the 10 officers for three years, said Speziale.
Paterson had its deadliest gun violence incident in a decade on Tuesday. Seven people were shot, four fatally. Sayegh called the incident a “mass shooting.” An incident where four or more people are murdered is considered a mass shooting, he said.
Sayegh credited Rep. Bill Pascrell for helping to secure the grant. He noted Paterson received the largest COPS grant award in New Jersey.
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