News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) will provide a $1,124,412 boost to communities in Washington State. The money will allow law enforcement agencies to hire additional officers to ensure public safety within schools. This grant will help pay for nine new police officers in western and eastern Washington.

"This money will help us to put more police in schools and help make a safer learning environment for our children," Murray said. "We need to do more to keep our schools safe. I'm proud of the work the COPS program has done and continues to do in ensuring the security of our children and community."

The money was awarded under the Universal Hiring Program, which provides funding for a designated portion of the total salary and benefits for each officer hired during a three-year span, up to $125,000 per officer. The following agencies will receive funding:

• $125,000 for the Benton County Sheriff's Department to hire one full-time officer

• $250,000 for the Kennewick Police Department to hire two full-time officers

• $125,000 for the City of Toppenish Police Department to hire one full-time officer

• $250,000 for the Chelan County Sheriff's Department to hire one full-time officer

• $124,412 for the Kelso Police Department to hire one full-time officer

• $125,000 for the City of Olympia Police Department to hire one full-time officer

• $125,000 for the Des Moines Police Department to hire one full-time officer

The COPS in schools initiative was started in response to a surge of interest in school safety. It is part of the COPS program,which was created in 1994 and has funded more than 100,000 new officers. President Clinton and members of Congress have proposed extending the COPS program for an additional five years to add 50,000 more officers to America's streets. The officers hired with today's grants are the latest installment toward this goal.