Like those in many other states, New Jersey law enforcers are puzzled by the formula used by federal officials in doling out money to increase or maintain police staff sizes, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. The $26.8 million awarded to New Jersey through the COPS Hiring Recovery Program went to only 18 agencies, even though more than 300 applied. “I saw the formula, and I have a Master’s degree, but I’m still not sure how the process went,” said Jim Ryan, spokesman for the state Police Benevolent Association.
The U.S. Department of Justice chose the winners based on a single ranking computed by its staff, said spokesman Gilbert Moore. The ranking, he said, was based on fiscal need, crime statistics and “community policing,” a category some police departments complained wasn’t clearly explained in the application process. Moore could not name specific criteria for community policing, but described it as “a philosophy that is woven throughout the department.” He also said he wouldn’t reveal the weighting given to crime data and community policing in the department’s decision because it would tell applicants how to get a good score for future rounds of grants