The Tampa Police Department is pleased to announce that it has been awarded two grants from the US Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, totaling almost $4 million. Along with funding expanded training, these grants will also enable the department to hire thirty (30) additional Tampa Police Officers.
“In the shadow of the recent tragedy we endured this past weekend, the selection of the Tampa Police Department as a recipient of COPS grant funding will help us restore Tampa’s recognition as one of the safest cities in the nation,” said Chief Lee Bercaw. “As recipients of these grants, we can more effectively address gun violence while expanding on our mission of working in partnership with the diverse community we serve to reduce crime and make Tampa safer, together.
“These funds will improve our ability to protect and serve our growing community with increased resources, while also allowing us to expand our community-oriented policing efforts so that we can better serve all those who work, live, and play in the City of Tampa.”
Mayor Jane Castor added, “I want to thank President Biden, Attorney General Garland, and COPS Office Director Hugh Clements for providing this support to the City of Tampa. “We are fortunate to live in one of America’s safest cities, thanks to the strong relationship between the Tampa Police Department and the community. We are also one of the country’s fastest-growing cities, and these resources will ensure we continue serving our community as effectively as possible.
“As you are no doubt aware, this past weekend, Tampa dealt with a tragic shooting in the heart of historic Ybor City in which two lives were lost and many others were injured. Gun violence is impacting cities and communities across the country. The funding that has been announced today will play an important role in our work to reduce gun violence in our community.”
The awarded grants titles, amounts, and synopsis are as follows:
COMMUNITY POLICING DEVELOPMENT: HIRING ($3,750,000)
The 2023 COPS Hiring Program (CHP) is a competitive award program designed to provide funding directly to law enforcement agencies to hire and/or rehire additional career law enforcement officers to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts. The anticipated outcomes of the CHP program awards include engagement in planned community partnerships, implementation of projects to analyze and assess problems, implementation of changes to personnel and agency management in support of community policing, and increased capacity of the agency to engage in community policing activities.
COMMUNITY POLICING DEVELOPMENT: DE-ESCALATION TRAINING ($160,000)
The COPS Office will provide grant funding to support whole agency training, efforts in de-escalation, implicit bias, and duty to intervene, including overtime to participate in training programs and support for training officers to attend nationally certified train-the-trainer programs in these topic areas. Funding can also be used to support response to resistance data analysis; after-action reviews; the development of internal marketing and promotional materials, policies, and procedures that encourage a de-escalation mindset; and other organizational change efforts that work toward the creation of a culture of de-escalation within an agency. Funded agencies will have the opportunity to participate in an ongoing community of practice with other COPS Office awardees.
More details on COPS grants available at https://cops.usdoj.gov/