Police departments are seeking a unprecedented amount of federal aid to forestall big local tax hikes or the possible layoff of nearly 40,000 police officers – enough to staff the entire New York City Police Department, reports the Associated Press. Cities applied for more than $8.3 billion, with $1 billion available. The first award announcements are expected this month.
Back in 1996, police departments asked the Clinton administration for $1.3 billion, to fill 33,388 full-time officer positions. They got almost the full amount. Associate U.S. Attorney General Tom Perrelli said this year’s response to the aid program “has provided us with a true understanding of the difficulties facing law enforcement departments today.”