Of the 47 Allegheny County, Penn., police departments that applied for federal COPS funding, only four received grants, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. They were: McKeesport, $641,763 for three officers; Wilkinsburg, $210,795 for one officer; Homestead, $142,493 for one officer; and McKees Rocks, $223,083 for one officer.
Pittsburgh’s request for 65 officers was turned down. Police agencies across the country have been trying to discern how the funding decisions were made. Under the Bush administration, the budget for the COPS program was whittled down from $792 million in 1999 to $4 million in 2005, when the program closed the open-application process and opened it only to targeted departments. The program was on hiatus in 2006 and 2007. Last year, it received $20 million for another targeted grant program.