City Beat

Sacramento, West Sacramento receive money to hire cops

Emily Kane, center, prepares for the Sacramento Police Department graduation ceremony at the Convention Center in Sacramento on Dec. 19, 2013. The city of Sacramento won a federal grant this week to hire 15 additional officers.
Emily Kane, center, prepares for the Sacramento Police Department graduation ceremony at the Convention Center in Sacramento on Dec. 19, 2013. The city of Sacramento won a federal grant this week to hire 15 additional officers. Sacramento Bee file

Sacramento has been awarded federal funding to pay for 15 police officers for the next three years.

The city was given a $1.875 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services program, or COPS. That was the largest possible award and will pay for officer salaries and benefits over the three years.

In addition to the COPS grant, the city was also awarded $599,000 in federal funding for officer-worn body cameras.

“To receive these two major federal grants is recognition of the leadership in our community and our commitment to being a model for community policing across the nation,” Mayor Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson, the City Council and the Police Department launched a community policing effort this year called the Officer Next Door initiative. The initiative includes a body camera pilot program, the creation of a community police commission and a gang task force.

“This funding will increase staffing and ensure our officers are equipped with the latest technology to meet the policing needs of the future,” Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers Jr. said in a statement.

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, announced that West Sacramento had also received a grant. That city was granted $250,000 to pay for two officers.

West Sacramento officials said that one of the officers will work with homeless individuals, continuing the city’s efforts after last winter’s Bridge to Housing project that attempted to move people from river campsites into homes. The other officer will focus on West Capitol Avenue, a main stretch that the city has tried to revitalize after years of crime and neglect.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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