The Vallejo City Council this week received a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice to hire four patrol officers for four years.
At its meeting Tuesday evening, the council unanimously passed a motion 7-0 to accept the grant.
The DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program (COPS) grant offers grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community-policing officers. The program provides salaries and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years.
< p>Vallejo is required to continuing employing the four officers for a fourth year, which is not covered by the grant. In addition to these four patrol positions, the city still has 28 vacant police positions.
Speaking at the council meeting, Vallejo Police Chief Joseph Kreins expressed his support of the grant, adding that it would not interfere with the positions already authorized by the council. He also noted that the grant money is immediately available to hire the officers.
Councilmember Marti Brown said the grant would not “bind future councils to maintain the four positions.” The funding is already allocated in Measure B monies, he said.
“This is the closest thing to free money that you can get,” said Kreins.