Funding for the police department was high on the list of priorities for all of the candidates running for Royse City’s council seats, but how to fund the needed officers (as well as the competitive salary compared with other departments in the area) has always been an issue.

At present, the city and its police department are waiting on word from a grant that was submitted for a special program from the Department of Justice.

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services recently closed its acceptance of applications for the COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP).

The Royse City City Council held a special meeting to approve the application on April 14, after which Royse City Police Chief Tom Shelton filed the application.

The application process was open to departments nationwide from March 16 through April 14, and is now closed. Based on the number of applications received, the COPS office has said that it anticipates the CHRP program to be “highly competitive.”

In the coming weeks, the agency said it will be reviewing applications and all applicants will be notified whether they will receive CHRP grant funding no later than Sept. 30.

Royse City is hoping to fund up to three additional officer positions through the use of funds from this program.

The DOJ acquired up to $1 billion to disperse to various law enforcement agencies following the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Through the program, departments are funded for 36 months to hire entry-level officers that are new, were laid off due to budget cuts or are scheduled to be laid off in the future due to budget cuts.

At the conclusion of the 36-month funding period, chosen departments must retain all officers hired or retained under the CHRP grant for a minimum of 12 months following the 36-month grant period. The retained officers are to be added to the grantee’s budget with state and/or local funds, over and above the number of locally-funded positions that would have existed in the absence of the grant.

Applicants were required to affirm in their grant application that their department plans to retain any additional officer positions awarded following the expiration of the grant and disclose their planned source of retention funding.

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