As reported by nj.com, strapped by recession and plagued by rising violence, some New Jersey police departments are about to get a little help from Washington. The U.S. Department of Justice announced state municipalities will receive $6 million in federal grant money to bolster departments thinned by deep cuts to city budgets.
“This funding will help New Jersey police departments to fund special task forces to combat the violence that is plaguing our cities,” said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, who personally petitioned Attorney General Eric Holder for the grant money, citing Newark and Camden as the most in need. “I am so pleased that the Department of Justice has released these urgently needed funds which will help to ensure the safety of our citizens.”
Newark laid off 163 police officers last year in a citywide downsizing not seen since the 1970s. Camden lost half its police force when it laid off 168 officers. It has since hired back 75, but still has one of the highest crime rates in the nation.
How the money will be distributed has not been determined, but the decision will ultimately be up to Governor Chris Christie as well as a formula dictated by the Department of Justice.