Rep. Cuellar Announces $1.5 Million DOJ COPS Grant to Laredo Police Department
City of Laredo Will Match 100% of Funds for 3 Million Federal-Local Investment in Police Force
Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) joined Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, City Manager Horacio De Leon, and Laredo Police Chief Claudio Treviño, Jr., to present a check for $1,500,000 to the City of Laredo Police Department from the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) - COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The funds will be used to hire 12 new police officers at the Laredo Police Department and are part of the $98,495,397 in nation-wide grant funding announced by the DOJ on Monday.
“The COPS Hiring Program provides our local law enforcement agencies with the resources they need to protect our communities and, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I worked with Chairman John Culberson to ensure this program was properly funded,” Congressman Cuellar said. “This funding will increase our community’s safety and help prevent crime. I congratulate City of Laredo and the Laredo Police Department, including Mayor Pete Saenz, the city council, and Police Chief Claudio Treviño, Jr., for their leadership in securing the grant.”
Funding from the 2017 COPS Hiring Program will help with the duties of maintaining public safety in Laredo, which is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas, with an active international trade and international tourism sector. Currently, the Laredo Police Department has 471 sworn officers and 73 non-sworn personnel. That’s about 1.9 officers per 1,000 inhabitants. The national average is 2.4 officers per 1,000 inhabitants.
The $1.5 million in federal funds will support 12 new police officers during the course of the grant, which is $41,666.66 per officer position for three years. The City of Laredo will provide a 100 percent match of $1.5 million to over the remainder $41,666.66 for salaries and benefits of newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions whose salaries and benefits are approximately $83,000 per year.
The total federal and local investment for the hiring of 12 new Laredo Police Department officers and supporting them for three years is, therefore, $3 million. The City of Laredo will prioritize the hiring of qualified veterans.
The new officers will be assigned to support patrol operations, implement a community policing approach, and address specific issues of border violence and illegal immigration.
The COPS Hiring Program (CHP) provides law enforcement agencies grants to hire new or rehire career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase community policing and crime prevention.
The City of Laredo last received a COPS grant in 2010 for $4.3 million to hire 22 police officers.