by Logan Gruber
The St. Joseph Police Department received permission from the city council to apply for a COPS grant at the June 15 council meeting.
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is the component within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to the concept that trust and mutual respect between police and the communities they serve is critical to public safety.
The COPS office has grants available for different uses, but the police in St. Joseph will apply for a grant that will pay for 75 percent of an entry-level police officer, which includes wages and benefits for a three-year period. The additional officer is needed either way, but the grant would help cover the cost.
Police Chief Joel Klein said the officer would be useful in everyday activities but would help ease the load on everyone to allow for more community involvement. The police department will need to report back to the COPS office on actions police are taking within the community.
The deadline for submitting the grant is June 19.