Arkansas law enforcement to receive share of $334 million in federal grants
New funding for police officer hiring, school safety and mental health services is coming to Arkansas thanks to a $334 million investment from the Biden Administration.
The funding comes from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, part of the U.S. Department of Justice. White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden detailed the grant awards in a call with reporters Thursday.
Public safety and public trust are mutually reinforcing values. Without public trust, witnesses don’t come forward, cases aren’t solved, justice isn’t done,” Tanden said. “These new grants are vital to ensuring that communities have what they need to hire much-needed officers, make our schools safer, fight violent crime and continue to advance community policing nationwide.”
Police departments in North Little Rock, Fayetteville and Springdale will get just over $500,000 in total to boost mental health and wellness services for law enforcement personnel. The funding from the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program will go toward funding peer support, training, family resources, suicide prevention and “other promising practices for wellness programs” according to the DOJ.
Nine school districts across Arkansas will also receive a total of about $4 million to enhance security and coordination with local law enforcement. That includes school districts in Jonesboro, Newport, Hope and Batesville. Armorel School District 9 and the Mountain View School District will receive the largest grants at $500,000 each.
Eight police departments, including Russellville, Heber Springs and Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia will also get funding to hire more officers. The largest investment in Arkansas from that grant program, the COPS Hiring Program (CHP) is $1 million for the City of Springdale to hire eight new officers.