Saturday, August 31, 2002

Federal grant pays for 45 more city officers

$3.4 million award from Justice Dept. is eighth-largest

By Jane Prendergast,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati got almost $3.4 million from the federal government Friday to hire 45 more police officers.

        The money, $3,375,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice, will start paying the salaries for recruits in the next class, which starts early next year. To get the grant, the city had to promise to chip in 25 percent more, to use the money only for new employees, and to absorb the salaries and benefits for at least one year after the three-year grant expires.

        “I assumed that we would get it,” Chief Tom Streicher said. “I was hoping we would. But that's great news.”

        The money is part of a total $128 million in grants announced Friday by the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The money will pay for 1,750 officers in 367 communities across the country. Cincinnati's grant was the eighth-largest.

        “This is far and away the biggest current grant we have,” said Lt. Dan Gerard, of the department's fiscal and budget section.

        The seven bigger awards: 100 more officers in San Juan; 92 in Fresno, Calif.; 75 in the Alabama Department of Public Safety; 59, Dallas County, Texas; 52, Fairfax County, Va.; and 50 each in San Francisco and in DeKalb County, Ga.

        Cincinnati will spend more than $4.2 million on the grant over the next four years, including its portion and the fourth year of salaries and benefits. That's based on $49,292 for the officers' first year, including salary and benefits, jumping to more than $61,000 by an officer's third year.


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