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Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

DoJ awards most hiring grants to law enforcement agencies committed to working with federal immigration officers

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More than $98 million in grants announced by the Department of Justice (DoJ) on Monday will help 179 law enforcement agencies across the nation hire 802 additional police officers in the coming years.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the funds would be awarded to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The funds will be used to hire new officers over the next three years.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” Sessions said. “(On Monday), the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities.”

In September, the DoJ announced that revisions to the consideration criteria for COPS Office grants administered in fiscal year 2017. Agencies that certify their willingness to cooperate with federal immigration agents scored additional points in the application scoring process under the revised criteria.

“I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration,” Sessions said. “I continue to encourage every jurisdiction in America to collaborate with federal law enforcement and help us make this country safer.”

Under the revised criteria, agencies that allow federal immigration agents to use their detention facilities to interview aliens in their jurisdictional custody, and commit to advance notice of an alien’s release upon request, scored more points.

Of the 179 law enforcement agencies awarded grants, 80 percent received additional application scoring points for certifying a willingness to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.