ALTON - Alton Police Chief Jarrett Ford announced on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, that the department has once again received notice that they are the recipients of a federal grant. This time, Chief Ford said they will receive $400,000 in grant funding from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) as part of the Community Policing Development-Implementing Crisis Intervention Teams program.

The Implementing Crisis Intervention Teams-Community Policing Development grant is designed to expand the Alton Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team response by diverting those in need of mental health services away from jail, tracking relevant CIT data, and building a foundation for community partnerships and collaboration.

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“This CIT grant is going to facilitate our community outreach efforts greatly," Chief Ford said. "In partnership with Megan Tyler and her nonprofit organization, Sacred Spaces of CARE, we will engage in collaborative, trauma-informed practices to educate, further equip, support, and safely respond to those in crisis. In the first few months of our partnership and without funding, we have seen great successes in helping those in crisis and referring them to appropriate area resources. This will only bolster those efforts and help us proactively assist even more of those in need in our community."

The COPS Office's mission is advancing community policing nationwide. They prioritize this by supporting state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies as they carry out their vital public safety missions.

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The Alton Police Department’s additional CIT efforts made with these award funds contribute to the mission of the COPS Office and the greater goal of reducing crime and building trust between law enforcement and the communities served.

Alton Mayor David Goins said: “I am truly excited to hear the news that the Alton Police Department has been awarded $400,000.00 from the federal office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). This funding will go a long way to advance the department’s cause to help those who are less fortunate as it will provide direct assistance and support to those in crisis through the Alton Police Department’s community outreach efforts in partnership with Megan Tyler and Sacred Spaces of Care. Congrats to all those who put in the work to make this funding a reality for our community."

In addition to the CIT grant, the Alton Police Department was awarded the Smart Policing Initiative Grant (SPI) just weeks ago. The department is to receive $800,000 in funding and was one of only three agencies selected nationwide for the SPI Category 3 grant.

Chief Ford said the grant aims to enhance public safety in Alton by more than doubling the number of license plate readers (LPR) and closed-circuit surveillance cameras already in use in Alton. The investment in public safety is expected to help deter crime and significantly enhance the department’s ability to investigate crimes and hold offenders accountable.

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