The U.S. Department of Justice announced that $139 million in grants will be distributed to agencies across to the country to hire and advance community policing. Agencies in Maine will receive $750,000 in grants, with $500,000 of that directed to two Aroostook County departments.

The Breakdown of Funds to Aroostook County

Aroostook County will receive $325,000 to hire new law enforcement professionals across multiple department while the town of Ashland received notice that they will be awarded $125,000 to recruit, hire, and retain full-time law enforcement officers. The overall goal of the funding put out by the DOJ is to hire over 1,000 new full-time officers across the States. These funds will be provided through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and through the COPS Hiring Program (CHP). 

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Where else in Maine is the money going? 

In total, there were 183 agencies across the United States awarded grants through this program. While most of the money will be used to hire officers, some the grant money will be used for programs to develop more "legitimacy and trust” between law enforcement and communities. U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee said “Given the many challenges Maine communities are facing during pandemic times, community policing is more important than ever.” The town of Sanford and the town of North Berwick will each be awarded $125,000 as the other two agencies from Maine receiving funds.  

Other uses for these funds

Outside of hiring new professionals, the money will be used in 41 communities to address high rates of gun violence and 21 communities will focus on other areas of violence. There will be 19 communities will be using the grant money to combat hate and domestic extremism, or supporting police-based response to persons in crisis.

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