TWIN FALLS — The Twin Falls Police Department recently received a $500,000 grant from the Department of Justice that will help hire four additional police officers.
In total, the Department of Justice distributed $139 million in grant funding to local police departments from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, COPS Hiring Program (CHP). This grant will allow new officers to focus on forming stronger relationships with community members and organizations.
“This is going to allow those officers that are assigned those duties to really dedicate and direct their time toward that effort," said, Lt. Craig Stotts with Twin Falls Police Department. "It’s a balance between current staffing levels and calls for service.”
The timing of the grant is beneficial for the Twin Falls Police Department since they have been experiencing staffing issues over the course of these past few months.
“We’ve had a significant amount of people retire, 7 people, and that puts us behind," said Stotts. "We’re constantly and continually recruiting and trying to find the right person, the right fit for the city of Twin Falls.”
The addition of these new officers will also assist Twin Falls PD in meeting the demand as the city continues to grow.
“We are a growing community that’s also a hub community and that means a lot," said Joshua Palmer, the Public Information Officer for the city of Twin Falls. "So, what that means is on any given weekday our population almost doubles by about 40 plus thousand people.”
Although the police department would like to have these officers on board as soon as possible, it will take some time.
“We have several processes that people have to go through so we make sure we get the right person, the right match," said Stotts. "The federal government recognizes that and knows that it takes time. So, this grant is really over a five-year period because you have time for hiring and training of officers.”