JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The city of Jonesboro says over the course of a month, they were awarded a series of grants totaling $1.29 million.
"We are always looking for extra ways to fund projects and ease the burden on our citizens, and our staff has done a wonderful job finding ways to supplement our sales tax dollars," Mayor Harold Perrin said.
Communications Director Bill Campbell said in a news release Wednesday that the Jonesboro Police Department received a $330,000 Community Oriented Policing (COPS) grant this week.
The grant will allow the department to add two full-time officers to their staff.
The city will have to match the grant with $83,000 in local funding. Combined, the money will provide the city with two new officers for three years. Those officers will work the patrol division.
"Other grants received since mid-October include a Community Development Block Grant of $584,000 to be used for the housing, community development, and assistance for low- and moderate-income persons; a Transportation Alternative Program grant that will provide the bicycle/walking trail connecting downtown with the Arkansas State University campus; and a Bullet Proof Vest Partnership grant that provides JPD with 35 vests," Campbell said.
According to the news release, JPD rotates bullet-proof vests on a five-year basis. The grant for bullet-proof vests totaled $25,000. The city must match that grant with $25,000.
"Every officer wears one, and we replace the oldest ones every year. That's manufacturer-suggested use," Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said.
As for the CDBG grant, the city receives that money directly for having the status of an "entitlement city", something that's grandfathered in for cities with a population above 50,000.
"Our grants department, in partnership with the CDBG Citizens Advisory Committee, has identified five nonprofit organizations that will benefit directly from this funding," Director of Community Development Tiffny Calloway said. "These federal funds will also be used for projects including homeless assistance, home rehabilitations, and first-time home buyers' assistance."
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