Conway, S.C. (WPDE) — The City of Myrtle Beach has been awarded $1.25 million in federal grant funding to hire 10 new officers, according to a news release from Beth Drake, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the awarding of over $98 million in grant funding through the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP) on Monday, the release said.
The funding is going to 179 law enforcement agencies across the nation, allowing those agencies to hire 802 additional full-time law enforcement officers.
In South Carolina, the City of Myrtle Beach, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department and the Spartanburg Department of Public Safety were awarded funds.
Berkeley County was awarded $1 million and Spartanburg was awarded just over $244,000, the release said.
CHP provides grant funding directly to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to support hiring additional law enforcement officers for three years to address specific crime problems through community policing strategies, according to the release.
“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the release. “Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration. I continue to encourage every jurisdiction in America to collaborate with federal law enforcement and help us make this country safer.”
According to the release:
In September, the Justice Department announced additional priority consideration criteria for FY2017 COPS Office grants. Applicants were notified that their application would receive additional points in the application scoring process by certifying their willingness to cooperate with federal immigration authorities within their detention facilities. Cooperation may include providing access to detention facilities for an interview of aliens in the jurisdiction’s custody and providing advance notice of an alien’s release from custody upon request. Eighty percent of the awarded agencies received additional points based on their certifications of willingness to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
The COPS Office awards grants to hire community policing officers, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.