Sessions offers $98M in grants to hire more police officers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that $98.5 million in grant funding is going to local police departments to hire additional officers.

Sessions said 80 percent of the 179 law enforcement agencies getting awards through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services COPS Hiring Program have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” he said in a statement. He added that he applauds their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including from illegal immigration.


“I continue to encourage every jurisdiction in America to collaborate with federal law enforcement and help us make this country safer,” he said.

The funding, the Justice Department said, will allow the local agencies to hire 802 additional full-time law enforcement officers.

Sessions has been cracking down on so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials, threatening to withhold funding to state and local law enforcement agencies through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program.

In September, a federal district court judge in Chicago blocked new requirements the Justice Department attached to grant funding, which required cities to provide federal immigration officials with access to jails and give a two-day notice before releasing a person who is residing in the U.S. illegally or risk funding being cut off.

Last week, however, that same judge also refused to block the administration from withholding funds from these cities.

Judge Harry Leinenweber said an injunction would be premature because the department has yet to actually withhold funding from a city.

Leinenweber was nominated to the bench by former President Reagan.

Tags Community Oriented Policing Services Illegal immigration to the United States Immigration Jeff Sessions Jeff Sessions Sanctuary city United States Department of Justice

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