City council gives go-head for COPS hiring grant
By Rebecca Hansen
April 15, 2009 - BRIGHAM CITY | With future growth
in the city almost certain, three additional police
officers would be undeniably beneficial to the citizens
of Brigham City, Police Chief Paul Tittensor says.
At the City Council meeting on April 2, Tittensor
was given approval to apply for a grant through the
Department of Justice and Community Oriented Policing
Services (COPS), which would provide funds to hire and
retain three new police officers. According to the COPS
Web site, this grant is part of the Hiring Recovery
Program to deal with the personnel needs of state, local,
and tribal law enforcement.
Tittensor said this is "quite an opportunity"
for the police department to gain additional law enforcement
officers. He said the department is applying for funding
for three officers. Some possible options for the new
officers would be a School Resource Officer (SRO) for
Adele C. Young Intermediate School, a permanent after-hours
shift, a strike force agent, a domestic violence officer
or an additional full-time traffic cop.
"The position that would have the greatest impact
on the city would be in traffic enforcement, even though
they aren't the most popular with residents," Tittensor
said. "I hate to say it, but Brigham City has some
poor drivers, and they need to be taken care of."
In an e-mail, Lieutenant Michael Nelsen said in the
30 years he's been on the force, there have been 25
sworn officers. Even though there's been no growth in
the force, he said the officers are picking up more
responsibilities, like SWAT, K-9 and Bike Officers which
are all above their normal duties. Nelsen said the addition
of three officers would "assist the officers right now
"We know we're going to have growth in the community,"
Council Member Bruce Christensen said. "I don't want
to pass this up and then need more officers next year."
The grant would pay for 100 percent of the officers'
salaries and benefits for three years, Tittensor said,
but it does not include a vehicle, any equipment or
training or raises due to promotions or cost of living.
He said these costs would be about $47,600 per additional
officer if they purchase a new vehicle. The only conditions
on the grant are the department must retain the officers
for 12 months past the 36 months that the grant pays
for, Nelsen said.
Though they haven't been given a date regarding when
they'll get the response, Nelsen said funds will be
released on Sept. 30.