SARASOTA, Fla. – September 24, 2014 – 2:15 p.m.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced today they have awarded COPS Hiring Program (CHP) Grants to 16 law enforcement agencies in Florida. The Sarasota Police Department was awarded $1 million from the Department of Justice. The Sarasota Police Department is one of 16 law enforcement agencies in Florida and one of 212 law enforcement agencies in the United States to receive the funding. The Sarasota Police Department applied for the Grant in July 2014.
Chief Bernadette DiPino received notification Wednesday afternoon from U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s Office. "This is such an honor that the Department of Justice supports our concepts and believes in the initiatives of the Sarasota Police Department enough to award us $1 million," said Chief DiPino.
The Sarasota Police Department plans to use the $1 million to fund the hiring of up to eight (8) additional officers. The CHP Grant provides 75 percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and benefits for three years (36 months) for newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions (including filling existing unfunded vacancies).
"This is so exciting for our community and the Sarasota Police Department. This award will help support us in our community policing efforts as we continue to keep the City of Sarasota a safe place to work, live and play," said Chief DiPino.