$9 million awarded to SoCal police departments for more officers as part of DOJ grant

The money is meant to enhance community policing and building legitimacy and trust between law enforcement and communities.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (KABC) -- The Department of Justice is giving more than $139 million in grant funding to hundreds of law enforcement agencies - including several in southern California - aimed at improving community policing.

The money is being issued through the department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services' COPS Hiring Program.

The DOJ said it provides direct funding to 183 law enforcement agencies across the country, allowing them to hire 1,066 additional officers.

Southern California law enforcement agencies are slated to get about $9 million from this program, which includes money for the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Pomona and Anaheim police departments.

LAPD along with Anaheim Police both plan on hiring 20 more officers with the funding.

San Bernardino plans on hiring eight while Pomona plans on getting five.

Many departments in the U.S. have implemented a form of community-oriented policing, which can mean different things for different departments. However, community policing has evolved with the nation's renewed focus on police accountability.

Many departments are turning to community policing as an alternative to law enforcement to deal with mental health problems and domestic conflicts.

"We are committed to providing police departments with the resources needed to help ensure community safety and build community trust," said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. "The grants we are announcing [Wednesday] will enable law enforcement agencies across the country to hire more than 1,000 additional officers to support vitally important community oriented policing programs."

The hiring program provides funds directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire additional career law enforcement officers.

Of the 183 agencies awarded grants on Wednesday, about half will use the funding to focus on building legitimacy and trust between law enforcement and communities.

The DOJ said 41 agencies will work on lowering the high rate of gun violence, 21 will focus on other areas of violence and 19 will focus CHP resources on "combating hate and domestic extremism or supporting police-based responses to persons in crisis."

The complete list of awards can be found here.

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