Niagara Falls Police getting $2.3 million dollars to advance community policing

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB)– The Niagara Falls Police Department has received $2,313,738 to hire eight more police officers and advance community policing.

“This is a critical time for the Niagara Falls Police Department,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Shootings involving injury jumped 48%, and the number of victims jumped 70%, from 2018 to 2019, and at the same time, the department is understaffed. This grant will allow Niagara Falls to add an additional eight officers to the force to fight violent crime, and without question, these resources will assist Superintendent Licata in his continuing effort to make the streets of Niagara Falls safer for its citizens.”

The funds were provided through the  Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the COPS Hiring Program.

“The Department of Justice is committed to providing the police chiefs and sheriffs of our great nation with needed resources, tools, and support.  The funding announced today will bolster their ranks and contribute to expanding community policing efforts nationwide,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “A law enforcement agency’s most valuable assets are the men and women who put their lives on the line every day in the name of protecting and serving their communities.”

Applicants to the program were required to identify a specific crime and disorder problem focus area and explain how the funding will be used to implement community policing approaches to that area. Forty-three percent of the awards will focus on violent crime, while
the remainder will focus on issues including school-based policing of und school resource officer positions and building trust and respect.

The Attorney General also announced $400,000,000 in funding awards to 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation, which allows those agencies to hire 2,732 additional full-time law enforcement professionals. 

Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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