Mayor Mike McGinn and Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel welcomed the Department of Justice’s Community Orienting Policing Services (COPS) grant Friday. The announcement comes on the heels of the addition of 15 new officers allotted for hire in the 2014 budget, and 27 new officers allotted for hire in the 2013 budget.
COPS program hires will be deployed equally into each of the city’s five precincts as part of the department’s Community Police Team (CPT) program. The CPT program focuses resources to long-term and chronic problem areas of the city, McGinn said, and encourages officers to work directly with the community in combating the “root causes of crime.”
The grant mandates that four military veterans be part of the new hire.
McGinn said the grant will help the department make strides toward securing trust from the community. The SPD is currently undergoing DOJ-mandated reform.
“This federal grant will help us continue to put more officers in our neighborhoods and walking beats to protect public safety,” McGinn said.
The Downtown Seattle Association released a statement in support of the grant, saying more officers are indeed needed to stop illegal activity in the area.
“We look forward to seeing the new officers out on the streets of downtown,” the association said in a statement.
McGinn is running for re-election against former state Sen. Ed Murray in November. Murray is currently leading in most polls.