- Feds hand SA cash to hire 50 more cops, SA Express News
- Feds give Arlington millions to pay for officers, Fort Worth Star Telegram
- HPD staffing issue arises as aid denied, Houston Chronicle
- Federal stimulus to provide $9 million to fund 50 Dallas police officers, FrontBurner
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: