The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded the U.S. Virgin Islands more than half a million dollars to hire six community-oriented police officers, Gov. John deJongh Jr. said Wednesday in a statement issued by Government House.
The V.I. Police Department will receive $562,600 from the 2012 Community Oriented Police Service Hiring Program over the three-year period of the grant, with a local match of $187,500. The money can be spent to hire military veterans or rehire laid-off police officers who will be tasked with initiating or enhancing community policing in the territory.
“This money will help us fund more police officers who will be involved in community policing programs” that reduce crime and foster cooperation between residents and police, deJongh said.
“The officers hired through this program will focus on building partnerships with other government, nonprofit and private organizations to enhance the department’s ability to solve problems in the territory’s many diverse communities,” he said.
The Police Department will be required to submit quarterly financial and program progress reports to Justice Department monitors.