Payne, Menendez, Booker Announce $4.7M to Expand Community Policing in Orange, East Orange and Essex County

Oct 5, 2016 Issues: Local Issues

NEWARK, N.J. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10) and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today announced the awarding of a combined $4,658,050 in federal funding to hire 32 new police officers in Essex County, Orange and East Orange. The grants were awarded through the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program (CHP).

 “Active collaboration between police and their communities is critical to building trust and ensuring public safety,” said Rep. Payne, Jr.  “With this funding, our local law enforcement departments will strengthen their capacity to work directly with community members to meet their needs and make our communities safer. Public safety is a top priority for me, and I look forward to a continued partnership with Sens. Menendez and Booker as we work to bring more of these funds to New Jersey.” 

“These grants are critically important to expanding community policing and keeping our neighborhoods safe,” said Sen. Menendez.  “It’s more than just about having more officers, but having them in the same community every day, patrolling the streets, getting to know the residents and business owners.  When we deepen positive relationships through community policing principles—built on trust and mutual respect—our communities are better served and better protected.  We have a solemn obligation to support our local police and to protect our residents, and that’s exactly why I’ll continue to fight to make sure New Jersey’s police departments have the resources they need to hire new officers and get the job done.”

“As communities across the nation are forced to make tough budget decisions, this federal grant will bolster public safety by helping ensure New Jersey police departments are adequately staffed,” said Sen. Booker.  “The COPS program makes critical investments in innovating and enhancing the effectiveness of community policing, which is why I stand committed to ensuring it’s fully funded.”

The following grants were awarded:

  • Essex County Sheriff’s Office              $1,875,000             15 officers
  • Orange                                                $1,408,050             6 officers
  • East Orange                                        $1,375,000             11 officers

“Keeping our neighborhoods and streets safe is our number one priority,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.  “We appreciate Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker directing more resources to our Essex County Sheriff’s Office and the municipal police departments in Orange and East Orange.  The additional funds will enable us to hire additional officers.”

“The announcement of today’s COPS grant is a most welcome development for the people of Essex County, especially in these most challenging times,” said Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura.  “It will bolster our department’s ability to prevent crime through community policing programs and allow us to continue the protection of our youngsters as they travel to and from school via safe corridors.  All of us understand that public safety and a safe and secure environment are our first and foremost priority.  We also salute and commend Sens. Menendez, Booker and the U.S. Department of Justice for their outstanding roles in recognizing the threats to our communities and helping us to resolve them.” 

The CHP program was designed to advance public safety by addressing the full-time officer needs of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. CHP provides funds directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new and/or rehire career law officers, and to increase crime prevention efforts.

This year, New Jersey police departments were awarded a combined $13.7 million from the CHP program to hire 95 new police officers, which also included 15 each in Camden, Paterson and Jersey City; 12 in the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office; three in Hamilton Twp.; two in Asbury Park; and one in Fort Lee.

New Jersey’s Senators have long advocated for this vital program. Last year, Sens. Menendez and Booker led a letter signed by 33 Senators urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to fund the program at a high level for FY16. This year, the Senators led a similar bipartisan letter signed by 37 Senators requesting robust funding for FY17.