Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Texas shortchanged on COPS grant funding

Since Governor Perry has been disdainful of federal stimulus funds, one supposes he won't be too unhappy that Texas got stiffed on the Department of Justice's COPS hiring grants for new police officers. Though Texas makes up 7.87% of the population nationally, we received just 3.89% of total COPS grants representing 4.17% of all the officers awarded, according to this state-level fact sheet (pdf) from DOJ about the grants announced yesterday. See information on other states here.

I've got mixed feelings that this straight-up pork-barrel funding wasn't doled out somewhat closer to Texas' percentage of the population. Granted, I'm not a big fan of this program and don't think it's necessarily wise for cities to take the money, but when our tax dollars head off to Washington I'd generally prefer they come back downstream at least somewhat proportionally.

All told, Texas cities got 196 new officers out of 2,798 requested around the state, most of them (131) in three large cities: San Antonio and Dallas received grants for 50 officers apiece, with Arlington receiving 31. The only other large city to receive money was El Paso which got two (though the El Paso Sheriff's request for deputies was denied). Houston PD asked for 240 officers but they and the Harris County Sheriff were both notably snubbed, as were some other large departments around the country. The rest of Texas' COPS grants went to smaller jurisdictions, with the most officers among smaller towns going to Galveston PD and the Galveston County Sheriff, one assumes to make up for shortfalls in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

Looking at the applicant rankings by state on the DOJ website, we find a list of other Texas departments that applied but I haven't seen information about how many officers each of them asked for. Other Texas departments that applied for grants but received no new officers were Austin PD, the Travis County Sheriff, and police departments in Tyler, Abilene, Laredo, Del Rio, Bryan, Odessa, Killeen, Temple, Amarillo, Irving, Waco, Plano, Denton, Nacogdoches, and quite a few other smaller departments.

Here's some of the initial MSM coverage:

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

From another source.....

Sure, the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed McCain for President, but with Obama’s recent P.R. disaster with the police (and much of America for that matter), it might not be too early to start using taxpayer money to try and buy not only forgiveness, but also a 2012 endorsement.

On the downside for Obama, this could be viewed by community activist types as a billion dollars being pumped into the effort to unjustly arrest minorities — even those who are half-Irish. I take offense that Obama played on the stereotype by using alcohol to lure Gates and Crowley to the White House.

Historically unreliable sources tell me that a full $12 million of this police stimulus announced by Biden may go toward financing the addition of a new Miranda right: The right to meet your arresting officer’s momma outside.

Anonymous said...

"A big part of the Recovery Act is about building communities – making them as strong as they can be, allowing every American family to live a better life than the one they are leading now," said Vice President Joe Biden. "And we can’t achieve the goal of stronger communities without supporting those who keep our streets safe."

and not to be outdone

"These Recovery Act funds will pump much needed resources into communities through a program with a proven track record," said Attorney General Holder. "The tremendous demand for these grants is indicative of both the tough times our states, cities and tribes are facing, and the unyielding commitment by law enforcement to making our communities safer."

How do these grants stimulate the economy? Recovery Act Funds? Now that's hope and change, ain't it?

Anonymous said...

Theye are awarding $1 billion in Recovery Act grants through the Community Oriented Policing Services – or COPS – Hiring Recovery Program.

What happen to Healthcare?

Boyness said...

Shortchanged? WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE COPS. PERIOD.

"BarFly" said...

Of course this does !!
Especially since unemployment is on the continuous rise and a fellow's got to eat right?
"But officer, all I took was milk and bread for my children..." "I was wrongly arrested over a year ago and got fired cause Perry didn't think it was a good thing for innocents to have their records expunged".... whoops different subject for when we dave more time.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"What happen to Healthcare?"

Don't worry, taxpayers pay 100% of healthcare costs for prisoners. Perhaps hiring more cops to arrest and incarcerate more people is a secret way to expand government coverage? ;)