Trenton to Add More COPS Through DOJ Community Policing Grant Program

September 3, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that the City of Trenton and the Trenton Police Department (TPD) have been awarded $1.25 million in competitive federal grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Orientated Policing (COPS), which will help hire 10 new officers and allow TPD to increase community policing and prevent violent crime.

Trenton City Council will consider accepting the award as well as the expenditure of additional funds to match the grant at tonight’s City Council meeting. The City of Trenton will be required to match $542,815 per year for the next three years.

“Trenton has had an uptick in violent crime, all made worse by a lingering health crisis and a police force that is still reeling from previous budget cuts,” said Mayor Gusciora. “This grant application allows us to put over a $1 million more into TPD’s efforts to enhance community policing programs and improve the safety of our residents at a time when they need it the most.”

“Due to ongoing budget constraints and retirements, TPD’s manpower is getting smaller and smaller as the needs of Trenton residents grow larger,” said Police Director Sheilah Coley. “While we work with our state and county partners to deploy more officers in Trenton neighborhoods, we should also secure every available resource at the federal level that will help keep residents safe and refine our community policing strategy.”

The COPS Hiring Program is a competitive award program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies implement community policing strategies and crime prevention efforts by hiring or rehiring additional police officers. Applicants must identify a specific focus problem, such as violent crime, and explain how the funding will be used to implement community policing approaches that address that focus.

“On behalf of the City of Trenton, I want to thank Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bob Menendez and Senator Shirley Turner for their assistance in advocating on behalf of the capital city,” said Mayor Gusciora. “There is no doubt that this funding will have a meaningful impact in helping TPD serve our residents.”