Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that the Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has awarded the City a grant to add two police officers to fight gang-related crimes. The Lincoln Police Department (LPD) will receive an estimated $250,000 in federal funds over the three-year grant period. The grant requires a 25-percent local match. Police Chief Jim Peschong said the two new officers would be in the recruiting class that starts in January.
Lincoln's overall crime rate fell by 7.8 percent in calendar 2013 when compared to 2012. But Mayor Beutler said the crime rate does not tell the complete story.
"Over the last two years, we have seen an increase in gang membership and in the intensity of gang-related crimes, including three gang-related murders last year," Mayor Beutler said. "We have learned from the experience of other communities that we must be proactive in this area. Prevention and early intervention are crucial to stopping gang recruiting and violence. This grant will help us keep our crime rate low and our families safe."
COPS is a program of the U.S. Department of Justice. The City last used a COPS grant in 2009 when it accepted $679,136 in federal stimulus funds to hire four full-time police officers. That grant provided 100-percent funding for salaries for three years. More information is available at www.cops.usdoj.gov.
More information on LPD is available at police.lincoln.ne.gov.