THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY POLICING GRANTS ON CONFERENCE CALL WITH MAYORS
President Clinton will participate in a conference call today with six mayors from around the country who will be receiving community policing grants under the Justice Department's Police Hiring Supplemental Program.
Participating in the conference call with the President this morning will be:
Mayor Richard Riordan, Los Angeles, CA
Mayor James Griffin, Buffalo, NY
Mayor Paul Tauer, Aurora, CA
Mayor Sharpe James, Newark, NJ
Mayor Nelson Wolff, San Antonio, TX
Mayor Gary Loster. Saginaw, MI
Joining the President in the Oval Office for the conference call will be the Vice President, Attorney General Reno and Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Lee Brown.
Details about the community policing grants, with specifics about the communities represented on today's call, are attached.
THE POLICE HIRING SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM
As a downpayment on his pledge to put 100,000 more police on the street, President Clinton challenged Congress last April to pass a jobs bill that included money for communities to re-hire or hire additional police officers. Congress approved $150 million for grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to hire approximately 2,000 new police officers. This legislation was signed by the President on July 2, 1993.
To implement this new program -- the Police Hiring Supplement Program -- the Justice Department set up a competitive process for local law enforcement agencies across the country. The Department set aside half of the program's funds ($75 million) for law enforcement agencies serving populations of more than 150,000 persons and the other half for smaller areas. By law, grant monies have to be used over a three-year period and can only pay for salaries and benefits of new or re-hired sworn law enforcement personnel. A local match is required, unless waived by the Attorney General due to economic hardship.
Applications were reviewed and scored based on the following selection criteria: public safety need; community policing strategy; implementation plan; continuation and retention plan; and additional resource commitments available to support the project.
Today, after receiving more than 2,700 applications from law enforcement agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. Territories, the Justice Department will announce the first 74 grant recipients. These grants total about $50 million and will pay to put some 650 new police on the street. There will be two more rounds of announcements in the coming months, with about another 150 police departments receiving grants to hire nearly 1,500 additional police.
The Police Hiring Supplement is just the beginning -- a downpayment on the President's community policing initiative included in crime legislation that has passed both the House and Senate. The President has called on Congress to pass a crime bill as soon as it returns in 1994 to put 100,000 new police on the street.
A brief description of the projects that will be funded in the cities of those mayors participating in today's conference call is attached. More detailed information on each individual grant is available in the Justice Department's press package.
Los Angeles, CA -- Los Angeles, will be receiving a $4 million grant to put 54 more police on the street and to help expand the community policing philosophy throughout its entire police department. Eighteen of the new officers will be assigned to Community Police Stations to assist in establishing Police Advisory Councils (PACs) throughout the city. PACs will be used to prepare "State of the Community" reports and to obtain community feedback for the LAPD's strategic planning process. San Antonio, TX -- San Antonio will be receiving a $3 million grant to hire 40 new police officers. This increase will allow the police department to meet the increasing demands for service while transferring veteran police officers to community policing. The city will implement a SAFFE (San Antonio Fear-Free Environment) program, which will allow teams of six or seven police officers to focus on community policing in the city's six police patrol services areas. Buffalo, NY -- The crime rate in Buffalo has grown at twice the rate as the national average in recent years. With this $2 million community policing grant, Buffalo's police department will divide the city into 27 neighborhoods and put at least one new community police officer in each area. The busiest precincts may get as many as three additional officers. New officers will help establish community Steering/Monitoring Committees and, ultimately, assist in training other police officers in the department in community policing methods. Newark, NJ -- Newark has experienced a 28% decrease in the number of police personnel since the 1970s. This $2 million grant will allow Newark to hire 24 new police officers. The city will implement Neighborhood Stabilization Units (NSUs) in all four police districts -- each including community service vans (mobile mini-police stations), bike patrols, community service officers and auxiliary police (volunteers). Aurora, CO -- Over the past five years, Aurora -- a Denver suburb with a growing gang population -- has experienced a 58% increase in violent crime. Last week, Aurora was the site of a tragic, random shooting. With $1.95 million grant it is receiving today, Aurora will add 26 new police officers, deploying them as follows: 14 officers will be assigned to neighborhood beats; 1 officer will work with multifamily housing owners and managers; 7 officers will join the Direct Action Response Team (DART), a city-wide problem-solving team; and 4 officers will be assigned to foot patrol in the business corridor. Saginaw, MI -- Saginaw, which is the 10th poorest city in the country and has an overall crime index that is almost twice the national average, will be receiving a $975,000 grant to hire 13 additional officers. The city will form a Core Advisory Group -- staffed by representatives from the community and other public and private agencies -- to help implement its community policing strategy. Networking Centers -- intended to allow police officers to work more closely neighborhood -- will be established throughout the city. The Centers will also have access to a wide array of professional services, such as counselors, health care specialists, and public defenders.