COPS grant awarded to Cassville PD

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cassville was one of only five cities in the state to receive a 2010 COPS grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The city has been awarded $114,273 over three years through the COPS Hiring Grant (CHP) program. The money will be used to retain an officer during a time of tightening budgets.

"I feel very honored and privileged to receive this grant," said Cassville Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr.

The grant will cover 100 percent of one officer's salary plus benefits for a three-year period. Under the terms of the CHP program, the city must agree to maintain the position for at least 12 months following the 36-month federal funding period.

According to Kammerlohr, there were 6,000 applications submitted for the CHP grant and only 379 were awarded. In addition to Cassville, the only other cities to receive the grant in Missouri were Chadwick, Cool Valley, Springfield and St. Clair.

Kammerlohr said her predecessor Chief Lonnie McCullough applied for the CHP grant in 2009 and did not receive it.

"But we weren't denied," explained Kammerlohr. "In 2010, they opened up the grant process without taking new applications. We just had to update our application."

"I would like to thank Chief Kammerlohr for being so persistent," said Mayor Tracy Holle. "She worked hard to stay on top of the grant application process."

"This is a very nice piece of news to receive in the budget times we're facing," added Cassville City Administrator Eugene Dilbeck.

COPS, which stands for Community-Oriented Policing Services, is the office of the U.S. Department of Justice that advances the practice of community policing in America's state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.

According to the COPS website, community policing is defined as "a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder and fear of crime."

In 2010, the CHP grant program is awarding a total of $298 million to police departments and sheriff's offices to hire, rehire or retain 1,388 law enforcement officers. The stated purpose of the CHP program is to increase the community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts of police departments by providing funds to hire officers.

"We know that the men and women who serve on our nation's police forces not only respond to crime but also are critical to reducing it and preventing it," said Associate Attorney General Tom Perrell. "The department's COPS program is based on a simple recognition - there is almost nothing more effective in keeping the public safe than cops on the beat who have the equipment and resources they need."

The Cassville Police Department currently employs 11 officers, including Chief Kammerlohr. One of those officers was hired through the Internet Crimes Against Children grant applied for by the Joplin Police Department.

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