Below is the press release from Congresswoman Niki Tsongas on the great news that Methuen was one of five communities in Massachusetts to receive federal money to hire or retain police officers. My thanks to former Chief Kathi Lavigne, who oversaw the development and filing of this very competitive grant. I am very grateful to Congresswoman Tsongas, who has worked time and again to deliver federal resources to Methuen.
METHUEN, MA – October 1, 2010 – Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announced today that the City of Methuen has received one of the very competitive federal Community Oriented Policing (COPS) grants from the Department of Justice in the amount of $744,724 that can be used to hire or retain four police officers in Methuen.“Methuen like many too many of our communities has had to make serious cutbacks in order to balance the budget,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “These federal funds will help the City keep police officers on the street during this difficult economic time. Public safety is critical for all our communities and I will continue to work with cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley to ensure that they have access to federal funds for this purpose.”
“I would like to thank Congresswoman Tsongas and the federal government for providing Methuen with this important grant,” said Methuen Mayor Bill Manzi. “Public safety is of great importance to me and this grant will insure that we have enough officers protecting our city even in these difficult financial times.”The federal funds will provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for entry level officer positions over a three year period. The funds can be put towards full-time sworn officer positions (including filling existing unfunded vacancies) or for rehired officers who have been laid off, or are scheduled to be laid off on a future date, as a result of budget cuts. Congresswoman Tsongas is a strong proponent of the COPS program because of the overwhelming evidence in her district, and across the country, illustrating that it is a program that works and is worthy of receiving federal support. “COPS has been and continues to be a critical means by which the federal government can provide desperately needed resources to local law enforcement, hiring new police officers, purchasing new technologies, hiring school resource officers to protect our children at school, and building better relationships between law enforcement and our communities,” Tsongas added.