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City police still hoping for money for downtown officer
No area localities’ law enforcement agencies got what they asked for in the first round of police officer funding awards as part of the $787 billion federal stimulus bill, but Fredericksburg police are encouraged that their application for money for a downtown community police officer ranks high among state requests going into the next award period (whenever that happens).
Here is a story that gives some background on what the Fredericksburg Police had hoped to do with the $173,567 they have requested from the Community Oriented Policing Hiring Recovery Program. Basically, they had hoped to add a dedicated downtown officer to their community policing program. As it stands, the officer who is assigned to the Hazel Hill and Mayfield communities spends some time working with downtown merchants and the homeless population, but the police want the federal government to help them make those efforts a full-time job.
Here is the list of where all the money went in the first round of awards, announced this week. The largest award in the state went to Norfolk, which got $1.3 million for 8 police officers. Spotsylvania County’s request for six deputies, and Stafford County’s request for 20 deputies both were not funded.
As you can see here, though, Fredericksburg’s application ranked fourth on the list of localities not funded in this round (Stafford and Spotsylvania ranked 65th and 68th, respectively).
"We’re still in a good position to get funded," city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.
It’s not clear when the next round of this money will be made available.