Everett City Council failed to proceed with COPS grant to hire police officers
By Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
The Everett Police Department was not approved to accept an awarded six million dollar federal grant for the hiring of up to 16 new officers.
During the August 26 Everett City Council meeting, a motion to authorize the acceptance of a hiring grant allocating $6,054,160 to the Everett Police Department did not proceed to vote after not receiving a second.
Dan Templeman, Chief of Police of the Everett Police Department, disclosed to the council on August 19 that the city had received a U.S. Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing (COP) grant, explaining that it would provide the department with salary funding for up to 16 new police officers.
If approved, the police department would have had three years to hire uniformed officers to be assigned to its patrol division, traffic safety, or bicycle unit with hopes to provide additional public safety resources throughout the city.
“While there are many goals with this grant, one of the goals is to hire and rehire police officers to enhance public safety through community policing and crime prevention efforts,” said Templeman. “What’s important to me with this grant, and the potential to hire these officers, is that these would be highly visible officers in the community that are responsive to the ongoing safety issues.”
Councilmembers communicated their decision to not proceed with the motion to Templeman, citing concerns over the city’s responsibility to absorb associated staffing costs for at least a year at the end of the grant award. Each year, the city will have to absorb a certain level of the costs associated with staffing positions, told Templeman. By the end of the grant award, the city of Everett would have to assume the full staffing costs for at least a minimum of 12 months, estimated at approximately $3 million.
“I certainly understand how this presents a challenge for the city and for all of us in a time when Everett is facing a structural deficit,” said Templeman. “But at the same time, I also recognize the significant opportunity that $6 million in federal funding to hire more police officers will present for our city.”
This year, the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) awarded nearly $400 million in grant dollars to almost 600 communities throughout the country. The city of Everett received the 9th highest grant award in the nation, behind some of the largest metropolitan departments in the country, explained Templeman. It was one of 12 grants awarded to Washington State Law Enforcement agencies.
More information about the COPS grant award can be found here: https://secureservercdn.net/220.127.116.11/8bc.1a4.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Everett-PD-COPS-Grant-Award.pdf.