NORWICH — Over the next three years, the Norwich Police Department is to receive $125,000 of the allotted Community Oriented Services (COPS) program funding to assist in new officer hire and to promote a third detective to combat the drug flow.
U.S. Representative Marc Molinaro (NY-19) recently announced over $1.5 million in federal funding will be delivered amongst many police departments across the southern tier including Chenango County Norwich Police Department.
Molinaro said, “The Defund the Police movement and demonization of police officers has driven young people out of the profession and pushed seasoned veterans to take early retirements. Now, we're faced with a critical shortage of police officers.”
“I stand with our police departments and am proud to be delivering $1.5 million to help them hire new officers and implement new trainings. This is going to have a positive impact on community safety by helping police departments hire and retain officers,” he said.
Norwich Police Department Chief Reuben J. Roach said, “Congressman Marc Molinaro has been a big proponent and advocate in securing these funds for the City of Norwich, and he is a supporter of law enforcement.”
Roach said, “Congressman Molinaro's continued leadership and support help to keep communities like the city of Norwich safe."
He said receiving this grant will allow for an additional officer to foot patrol more often in the downtown district, and it will also allow a promotion of a third detective to combat the flow of drugs into the community.
Roach said they are in the process of receiving the grant and look forward to implementing the new hire of an officer in 2024.
“Nationally, crime has been increasing and between the pandemic and bail reform, law enforcement has faced many challenges,” said Roach.
He said their arrests are up considerably, all the while having qualified candidates taking the civil service exam is down. Between retirements and the grant, the Norwich Police Department will attempt to backfill three vacancies in 2024.
The funding comes as police departments in Upstate New York are struggling to cover a growing law enforcement labor shortage. The funding is through the Community Oriented Services (COPS) program which provides direct funding for law enforcement agencies to hire law enforcement officers, provide training, and advance community policing efforts.