Tester, Walsh hail new support for Montana law enforcement jobs

Funding will help officers prevent crime, build trust with local communities

(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh today announced that four Montana communities will soon be receiving resources to hire or retain law enforcement officers and prevent crime.

The funds come from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. The Department of Justice distributes funds from the initiative directly to law enforcement agencies to increase their community policing work.

The highly successful COPS grant program requires local governments to share in the cost of hiring and retaining police officers.

“Building trust between law enforcement officers and the folks they serve is one of the best ways to prevent crime,” Tester said. “This initiative is about building relationships and solving problems. These grants will help law enforcement work collaboratively with our communities while also taking steps to keep our kids and schools safe.”

“Providing resources to our first responders is an investment in our local communities and in the safety of our families.” Walsh said. “Local law enforcement agencies are on the front lines of keeping us safe, often putting their lives on the line, which is why these grants are so important.”

In awarding the grants, the COPS Hiring Program gave priority consideration to agencies that requested officer positions in order to deploy school resource officers, build trust between the police and the community, hire military veterans and focus on homicide or gun violence.

Grant recipients in Montana are:

• The Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office: $125,000 grant

• The Butte Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency: $250,000 grant

• The Havre Police Department: $125,000 grant

• The City of Missoula: $125,000 grant