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PHOENIX — Two Pinal County police departments are among nine Arizona agencies receiving nearly $400 million in federal grant funding.

The Justice Department announced the grant awards Tuesday through its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services COPS Hiring Program. The attorney general announced funding awards to 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation, which allows those agencies to hire 2,732 additional full-time law enforcement professionals. The awards are inclusive of the $51 million announced in May as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit.

The Apache Junction Police Department will receive $1 million to hire eight officers, while the city of Maricopa Police Department will receive $375,000 to hire three officers.

Other Arizona agencies receiving grants are:

  • Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, receiving $125,000 to hire one officer;
  • Coconino County Sheriff’s Department, receiving $500,000 to hire four officers;
  • Nogales Police Department, receiving $704,122 to hire three officers;
  • City of Peoria, receiving $375,000 to hire three officers;
  • Pima County Sheriff’s Department, receiving $1.25 million to hire 10 officers;
  • Town of Sahuarita, receiving $250,000 to hire two officers;
  • City of Winslow, receiving $250,000 to hire two officers.

“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 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.”

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.

In addition to providing financial support for hiring, CHP provides funding to state, local and tribal law enforcement to enhance local community policing strategies and tactics. In a changing economic climate, CHP funding helps law enforcement agencies maintain sufficient sworn personnel levels to promote safe communities.

Funding through this program had been on hold since the spring of 2018 due to a nationwide injunction that was lifted earlier this year.

CHP 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.

Almost 43% of the awards 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.

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