WASHINGTON — The Springdale police department was awarded a $563,094 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice that will help hire or retain seven officers involved in school-based policing.

WASHINGTON — The Springdale police department was awarded a $563,094 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice that will help hire or retain seven officers involved in school-based policing.


The City of Alma also received a grant for $125,000 to help hire or rehire one officer involved in school-based policing.


The Department of Justice on Monday announced that it had awarded $124 million in Community Oriented Policing Services grants to 215 law enforcement agencies across the country.


Grant winners for 2014 were selected based on proposed community policing strategies, fiscal need and violent crime rates. In all, DOJ received requests for COPS Hire grants from 1,296 agencies — including about two dozen from Arkansas.


"These targeted investments will help to address acute needs — such as high rates of violent crime — funding 75 percent of the salary and benefits of every newly-hired or re-hired officer for three full years," said Attorney General Eric Holder.


The COPS Hiring Program offers grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community policing officers. The grant provides up to 75 percent of the approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits of full-time officers for a 36-month grant period, with a minimum 25 percent local cash match requirement and a maximum federal share of $125,000 per officer position, according to DOJ.


"The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country in addressing their most critical public safety issues," said COPS Director Ronald Davis. "Funding from this year’s program will allow many cities and counties to focus newly sworn personnel on issues related to violent crime, property crime and school safety."