I-Team 8

Indianapolis takes a pass on Justice Department money to hire more cops

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Chicago is getting 50 cops with a federal grant.

Four Indiana cities and towns are also getting more police officers with a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

But, Indianapolis chose not to apply for the money, even as the city closes in on one of the most violent years in history. 

“We didn’t submit an application for that grant in no small measure because we received $420 million in American Rescue Plan money,” Mayor Joe Hogsett told I-Team 8 on Thursday. “Which by the way could have been used in a lot of different ways and yet we are taking over $400 million we are receiving, and I think it is going to be approximately $166 million is going into public safety for more officers more civilian officer’s better technology for our current sworn officers.” 

Hogsett says Indianapolis will use the American Rescue Plan money will bolster the police department’s hiring. Plans call for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to hire 100 new officers over the next three years.

Indianapolis last applied for the Department of Justice’s grants 10 years ago.

Millions of dollars in Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants are handed out to cities and towns to add police officers every year. This year, four Indiana communities are getting money: Muncie in central Indiana for 3 new officers, and Cedar Lake, La Paz and Crown Point in northern Indiana will get one new officer each.

I-Team 8 talked to the Cedar Lake’s police chief. He has a small department of less than two dozen officers for the town of 13,500 residents in northwest Indiana near the Illinois border. He was not aware the department had been awarded the grant until I-Team 8 told him. He said the city has used the program several times over the years to add cops who were not in the yearly budget.   

Nationwide, nearly 200 departments in the United States are getting money to hire new officers through the COPS program.

The money comes with specific purposes:

  • Build trust in the community.
  • Address high crime and gun violence.
  • Reinforce domestic violence and hate crime programs.
  • Battle domestic extremist activity. 

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