FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS – U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft announced today that four local law enforcement agencies, including the Collinsville Police Department, will be receiving a total of more than $1 million in grant awards from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. Community-oriented policing focuses on building ties and working closely with community members.

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The following police departments in the Southern District of Illinois have been awarded COPS funding:

Collinsville Police Department, $750,000

Anna Police Department, $125,000

Brooklyn Police Department, $123,044

Caseyville Police Department, $125,000

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These police departments were among 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation chosen to receive COPS grants totaling $400 million. The funds are expected to provide financial support to hire additional full-time law enforcement professionals and enhance local community policing strategies and tactics.

Collinsville Police Chief Steve Evans said they applied for the Department of Justice grant after a study showed more police officers were needed in the city.

"The important part of the grant is to help with community policing initiatives," he said. "We will have discussion with the city manager about it soon."

Evans said more specifics will be released once the number of officers is approved, but he said he was very excited for his department to receive the grant.

“The Department of Justice is committed to providing the police chiefs and sheriffs of our great nation with needed resources, tools, and support. The funding announced today will bolster their ranks and contribute to expanding community policing efforts nationwide,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “A law enforcement agency’s most valuable assets are the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in the name of protecting and serving their communities.”

U.S. Attorney Weinhoeft said, “We are a self-governing nation, which requires a relationship between the government and the community that it serves. In these turbulent times, we see the damage that occurs when those relationships are fractured. These grants reflect a substantial commitment to help strengthen those bonds and provide support for the valuable work these police departments are already doing for the communities they protect. For the residents of Anna, Brooklyn, Caseyville, and Collinsville, this is very good news.”

The COPS Hiring Program is a competitive award program intended to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing by providing direct funding for the hiring of career law enforcement officers. Applicants were required to identify a specific crime and disorder problem focus area and explain how the funding will be used to implement community policing approaches to that problem focus area. Forty-three percent of the awards announced today will focus on violent crime, while the remainder of the awards will focus on a variety of issues, including school-based policing to fund school resource officer positions, building trust and respect, and opioid education, prevention, and intervention. The COPS Office received nearly 1,100 applications requesting more than 4,000 law enforcement positions.

For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.

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