Leesburg receives $375,000 federal grant to hire three police officers

A federal grant from the Department of Justice will enable the city of Leesburg to hire three new police officers over a three-year period.

The city recently received $375,000 in federal funding from the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, a news release states. The award will help fund three new police officer positions under the 2017 COPS Hiring Program. The program provides competitive grant funding directly to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

“These positions are arriving at a critical time of growth accompanied by a real need for expanding our proactive policing services,” Leesburg police Maj. Steve Rockefeller says in the release.

Leesburg Police Chief Robert Hicks intends to maximize these positions by enhancing community policing initiatives, the major says. The enhancements will include focusing on youthful offenders, varied street-level drug enforcement initiatives, and violent crime suppression strategies.

Leesburg is one of 179 law enforcement agencies across the nation to receive a portion of $98 million in grant funding from the COPS Office, the release states. The awards will allow those agencies to hire 802 additional full-time law enforcement officers.

The COPS Office awards grants to hire community-policing officers, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing, according to the release.

For more information, visit cops.usdoj.gov.