Congressman Brian Higgins and Niagara County Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti announced a federal grant totaling $200,000 for Niagara County through the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
“Responding officers jump into difficult situations with constantly changing variables every day,” Higgins said. “This grant supports training to further develop tools that can help best prepare officers to deliver safe and effective community policing methods.”
Filicetti added, “De-escalation is crucial for law enforcement on every call. This funding will ensure that the citizens of Niagara County have the most highly trained police officers responding to calls throughout the county. We will also build on the initial training through the simulator funded by this grant.”
The grant, awarded specifically through the Community Policing Development Program, will support de-escalation training for two officers who will then work with law enforcement agencies across Niagara County to provide training and simulation exercises employing proven strategies for responding to challenging calls and keeping communities safe.
In fiscal year 2021, Congress authorized $31.3 million for the Community Policing Development Program. Niagara County is one of just seven agencies awarded a grant in New York.
The COPS grants were released by the Department of Justice during National Community Policing Week (Oct. 3-9), which celebrates the importance of relationship-building between law enforcement and communities to help create safer neighborhoods.