City of Poughkeepsie Gets Federal Aid to Bolster City Police Ranks
City of Poughkeepsie officials were joined by Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney at a press conference today to outline how federal funds will bolster the city’s police ranks.
The city already has taken steps to retain officers and attract them from other departments and has increased its ranks from 79 to 89 officers. Consequently, the City is now able to access $630,000 from the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) funds that Congressman Maloney helped to secure in 2015. The City Police Department had to be staffed at a certain level to be eligible to use the funds.
“We appreciate Congressman Maloney’s leadership and determination to see the city get to the point where we could make use of these funds,” Mayor Rob Rolison said. “The congressman continues to be strong advocate for the City and for addressing its needs.”
“Our brave police officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities, which is why I’ve made it my priority to fight for the resources they need to keep crime off our streets. I’m proud to stand with Mayor Rolison and Police Chief Pape as we celebrate new hires on the force and safer communities in the Hudson Valley,” said Congressman Maloney.
Since joining Congress in 2013, Congressman Maloney has fought for significant investments to police and fire departments throughout the Hudson Valley. Funding for police has been used primarily to hire more police officers and fortify community policing efforts.
This grant will enable the City to hire up to five additional police officers.
City Police Chief Thomas Pape said, “These officers will greatly aid our department to curb crime and do more community policing. The City is firmly committed to public safety, as demonstrated by recently released statistics showing most categories of violent crimes have dropped dramatically over the last decade.”
Earlier this year, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services released trends tracked over a10-year period that show violent crimes dropped from 417 in 2009 to 216 in 2018, a 48.2 percent decrease. Robberies, burglaries, and property crimes also have fallen by 50 percent or more during that same timeframe.
The City’s Police Officer Retention Program has raised salaries for officers, keeping the City competitive with its neighbors and other regional police departments. As a result, the City has restored the community policing unit, which allows officers to concentrate on patrolling particular areas of the city in order to form a stronger bond with the citizens living and working there.
The City also has placed a school resource officer in the Poughkeepsie City School District.