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Shaheen, Hassan Announce $500K in Federal Funds for NH Police Departments

(Washington, DC) — Today, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Subcommittee, and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), announced $500,000 in federal funding for the Lebanon, Farmington and Laconia Police Departments to hire additional law enforcement officers and invest in community policing efforts. The funding was awarded through the COPS Hiring Program (CHP), which is managed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“These federal resources will provide a real boost to New Hampshire law enforcement,” said Senator Shaheen. “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.”

“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,” said Senator Hassan. “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.”

“We are grateful and excited for the COPS Hiring Grant award. The positions afforded under this grant will help enhance community policing. We have been committed to expanding our partnerships within the community and have placed a tremendous focus on a community oriented policing philosophy,” said Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello. “This grant will help achieve those goals.”

“The approval of this COPS Hiring Grant in support of an additional police officer is monumental to the Laconia Police Department and the City of Laconia,” said Laconia Police Chief Matthew Canfield. “As we move forward with a multi-pronged approach in addressing the heroin epidemic, our personnel are stretched very thin necessitating the need for additional sworn personnel. This grant is imperative in being able to fund this additional position and very much appreciated.”

“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 Farmington Police Chief John 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 4 more years of providing a truly needed and great service to the students, families and staff of the Town of Farmington, New Hampshire.”

The Lebanon Police Department was awarded $250,000 and the Laconia and Farmington Police Departments were awarded $125,000 each. The full grant announcement can be read here.

Last month, Senators Shaheen 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.