Thousand Oaks, CA – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice is awarding a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program grant of $250,000 to help the Santa Paula Police Department hire and train two police officers.

“I am pleased that, because of the COPS Hiring Program, the Santa Paula Police Department will have more police officers to keep our community safe,” said Brownley. “The COPS Hiring Program is critical in ensuring that state and local law enforcement have the tools, personnel, and resources necessary to protect and serve our communities.”

“The CHP (COPS Hiring Program) grant allowing the Santa Paula Police Department to hire two more officers will assist our small police department in expanding our Department. These two officers will allow me to increase our gang unit so they can continue to focus on eliminating gangs and violent criminals from our community,” said Santa Paula Chief of Police Steve McLean.

The COPS Hiring Program is a cornerstone of the federal justice assistance program, supplementing the manpower of local and state law enforcement, and incentivizing the collaboration across agencies necessary to build upon successful crime reduction efforts over the past 20 years.

Since its inception, it has enabled law enforcement agencies to form vital partnerships among communities and law enforcement officers, combat criminal activities, and develop and implement problem-solving and crime prevention programs nationwide.

In Congress, Brownley has continuously supported the COPS Hiring Program and has advocated for the House Appropriations Committee to increase funding of this critical program to help local communities put police on the streets and reduce crime. In the late 1990’s, when the program began, the COPS program was funded at an average of $1.4 billion annually. However, federal funding for state and local law enforcement assistance has declined dramatically since that time.

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