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Farmington Police get $125,000 federal grant

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Police Department is one of several in New Hampshire to benefit from federal funding to hire additional law enforcement officers and invest in community policing efforts.

The $500,000 in funding for New Hampshire, which was announced on Monday by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, was awarded through the COPS Hiring Program (CHP), which is managed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Farmington Police Chief John Drury said the $125,000 his department is getting will be used to fund the school resource officer’s position, which he said is critical to the community, especially in light of the opioid crisis.

“Nearly everyone in town knows someone who has suffered from addiction. We have students and families affected by the very facet of this crisis, and those factors follow our students to school. Our School Resource Officer is on the front lines with our school counselors and social workers to help students cope with the fall out,” said Drury.

“To lose this position would put a huge strain on our active community policing program. The assistance of the federal government with this COPS grant should guarantee us at least four more years of providing a truly needed and great service to the students, families and staff of the Town of Farmington, New Hampshire,” Drury added.

Shaheen said the federal funds will provide a boost to New Hampshire law enforcement. “Our police officers are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and need all the help they can get. In New Hampshire, we know that we need the entire community to work together to defeat this crisis, which is why we must continue to emphasize and support community policing. I’m very glad to see these federal investments in the efforts of our local law enforcement, and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to fight for additional support,” Shaheen said.

Hassan also issued a statement of support for the grants. “Protecting our communities is the most important responsibility of any government, and I am deeply grateful for all of the dedicated law enforcement officers who help keep New Hampshire one of the safest states in the country,” Hassan said. “I was proud that we put more state troopers on the road when I was Governor, and these COPS grants are a critical tool to help build on that progress and ensure that New Hampshire communities have the resources and officers necessary to keep our people safe,” Hassan added.

Other New Hampshire police departments benefiting from the federal funds include: Lebanon Police Department, which received $250,000; and the Laconia, which received $125,000.

Last month, Shaheen’s and Hassan’s bipartisan resolution to designate the first week of October National Community Policing Week passed the Senate. As the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Subcommittee, Shaheen helps secure funding for the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) programs. CHP grants support state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies’ ability to hire, preserve and/or rehire law enforcement officers and to increase community policing efforts.