25 Vermont Communities Net Total Of $5 Million For New Police Hires Under Economic Recovery Plan

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, July 28) – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday morning that Vermont will receive $5,045,045 in economic recovery grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of law enforcement officers. 

The grants to 25 law enforcement agencies across Vermont are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program.

The grants provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for newly hired entry level officer positions over a three year period.  Police departments receiving the grants will then be required to retain the grant-funded positions for a fourth year.  Leahy said the funding comes amid extreme budget pressures as communities cope with falling revenues under the economic downturn and will help Vermont’s law enforcement agencies add and retain the staffing levels needed to fight crime more effectively through community policing.
Leahy worked to secure this funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was signed into law Feb. 17.  As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he dedicated two hearings to the importance of the federal partnership with state and local law enforcers, particularly during difficult economic times.  Leahy also is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which included nearly $4 billion dollars in the final recovery package for law enforcement programs.
Leahy, a former prosecutor, said, “This is a timely tonic to keep our streets and communities safer.  It also is another dividend from starting early and pulling together as we have done ever since Vermont convened the first statewide conferences on the stimulus plan.  Our law enforcement community has taken advantage of that head start.  An economic crisis sows the seeds of crime, just as it forces states and towns to slash their budgets, including vital funding for police.  Without additional funding like this they will need to cut their already depleted ranks even further.  This COPS funding will allow state and local police forces to quickly fill vacancies and hire new officers and staff.  The law enforcement community in Vermont has demonstrated an exemplary ‘all hands on deck’ approach through initiatives like the Vermont Drug Task Force and Special Investigations Units dedicated to investigating sex crimes throughout the state.  These awards are a testament to the quality and dedication of Vermont’s law enforcers.”
Last March Leahy and Vermont Gov. James Douglas (R) hosted two statewide conferences – the first in the nation on the stimulus package -- in Burlington and Brattleboro to help Vermont families, businesses and towns learn about how the ARRA would help strengthen Vermont’s economy.  One workshop at both conferences was dedicated to accessing first-responder and criminal justice funding opportunities and linked state and local law enforcement agencies to officials within the Department of Justice, helping to give Vermont communities a head start in applying for these COPS grants.
A breakdown of COPS Hiring Recovery Program grant funding for law enforcement agencies and localities follows:
Officers Awarded
Award Amount
Bellows Falls Village Corporation
Bennington County Sheriff’s Department
Berlin Police Department
Brandon, Town of
Essex, Town of
Fair Haven Police Department
Franklin County Sheriff’s Department
Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department
Hardwick Police Department
Hartford Police Department
Hinesburg, City of
Lamoille County Sheriff’s Office
Lyndon, Town of
Montpelier Police Department
Newport, City of
Rutland County Sheriff’s Department
Shelburne Police Department
Springfield Police Department
St. Albans Police Department
Swanton, Village of
Wilmington Police Department
Windham County Sheriff’s Department
Windsor Police Department
Winhall, Village of
Winooski Police Department
State Total
Total Officers Awarded
Grand total for Vermont