Grants Help Hire Two Police Officers
City receives upward of $1.3M in grants in past month
With the addition this week of a $330,000 Community Oriented Policing grant that will allow the Jonesboro Police Department to add two fulltime officers, the City of Jonesboro has received $1.29 million in state and federal grants over the past month to help subsidize the city budget.
The COPS grant includes an $83,000 local match. It will provide two new officers for three years.
Other grants received since mid-October include a Community Development Block Grant of $584,000 to be used for the housing, community development, and assistance for low- and moderate-income persons; a Transportation Alternative Program grant that will provide the bicycle/walking trail connecting downtown with the Arkansas State University campus; and a Bullet Proof Vest Partnership grant that provides JPD with 35 vests.
“We are always looking for extra ways to fund projects and ease the burden on our citizens, and our staff has done a wonderful job finding ways to supplement our sales tax dollars,” Mayor Harold Perrin said.
JPD rotates its bullet-proof vests on a five-year basis. “Every officer wears one, and we replace the oldest ones every year. That’s manufacturer-suggested use,” Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said. The grant totals $25,000 and requires a 50-percent city match.
The COPS grant is from the Department of Justice and will provide 75 percent of all costs related to the hire of two officers over a three-year period. The local match is $83,000. Elliott said the new officers will be employed in the patrol division.
“The chance to add two officers to the force, and the opportunity to have it funded, is savings to the city and a boon to our department,” he said.
The CBDG grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is one the city receives directly because of Jonesboro’s status among Arkansas “entitlement cities.” That status is grandfathered in for cities of population above 50,000.
“Our grants department, in partnership with the CDBG Citizens Advisory Committee, has identified five nonprofit organizations that will benefit directly from this funding,” Director of Community Development Tiffny Calloway said. “These federal funds will also be used for projects including homeless assistance, home rehabilitations, and first-time home buyers’ assistance.”