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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield was notified Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice that the City will receive funds to assist with the hiring of 11 additional officer positions under the 2015 COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The estimated total amount of federal funds to be awarded to the City over the three-year grant period is over $1.3 million.
The City must make a local cash match of 25% over the three-year grant period. After the three-year grant, the City will assume 100% of the ongoing costs for the additional officers.
Six of the new officers will be assigned to patrol in the Center City Zone, located within the northwest quadrant of the city, part of which is in City Council Zone 1. The City launched a Community Listen initiative in May in Zone 1, after discovering a series of concerning trends, including crime.
The remaining five officers will be assigned to a new evening-shift traffic unit dedicated to DWI, hazardous motor vehicle violation enforcement, and neighborhood traffic concerns, according to Police Chief Paul Williams.
“Traffic consistently rates as a top concern among citizens in our biannual citizen satisfaction surveys and speeding in neighborhoods was a problem brought up at all nine Community Listen meetings,” Williams said.
Springfield was one of 1,103 law enforcement agencies nationwide requesting officers as part of the COPS Hiring Grant. Of those applicants, 196 agencies received grants to hire between1-15 officers. Williams said Springfield scored high in the area of community policing, demonstrating the ability to successfully partner with other public agencies, private organizations and citizens to address recurring challenges.
The Springfield Police Department is actively recruiting and testing for current vacancies, and will continue that process to fill these new positions. The next testing date is Oct. 30 at the Springfield Regional Police and Fire Training Center at 2620 W. Battlefield for an academy scheduled for February 2016. Williams said additional testing dates will be added in the future, with and anticipated summer 2016 academy for the grant-funded officers. That would put these new officers on the street in spring 2017.
The grant is contingent upon formal City Council acceptance. The grant award information will be presented at an upcoming City Council meeting.
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For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), [email protected]