According to a press release from Mayor Mike McGinn’s office, the Department of Justice has awarded Seattle a $1.25 million grant to hire 10 new police officers. The DOJ grant comes via a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant, which means the new cops will “focus on long-term and chronic problems specific to individual neighborhoods,” according to the McGinn press release, focusing on “hot spots” and working to “build relationships with residents and business owners in their precincts.”
As the press release enthusiastically notes, the new funding will bring “to 52 the total number of new officers authorized in the City budget since the end of 2012.” As you’ll recall, McGinn’s 2014 proposed budget - officially unveiled Monday - includes funding for 15 more officers.
As you’ll likely also recall, McGinn’s mayoral challenger, Ed Murray, has called for 100 new cops to be hired.
Under the grant, the city has committed to hire four military veterans. The 10 new cops will spread across the city’s five precincts, with each precinct getting two.
“This federal grant will help us continue to put more officers in our neighborhoods and walking beats to protect public safety,” McGinn said via the press release.
Police Chief Jim Pugel added: “This award, along with the extra officers outlined in the budget, is great news for the department and for the community.”
To no great surprise, the Downtown Seattle Association is also pleased at the prospect of more cops on the street, issuing a statement that reads: “The federal grant to hire ten new police officers, plus the Mayor’s proposal to fund 15 additional officers in the 2014 budget, are good news for Downtown and are important new resources that will improve public safety in Downtown. Increasing the number of foot and bike patrol officers throughout Downtown is one of many key strategies and investments that we have advocated for to reduce illegal activity. We look forward to seeing the new officers out on the streets of Downtown.”