submitted by Tarah Heupel, RCPD spokesperson
The Rapid City Police Department has been awarded $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program to hire four additional officers.
"Over the last few years, there has been an increase in criminal activity in our city," said Police Chief Steve Allender. "We're seeing more violent crimes and more property crimes, as well as an increase in citizen calls for service. This grant will allow us to put more officers on the street and tackle these problems head-on."
According to FBI Uniform Crime Stats, aggravated assaults in Rapid City have increased from 167 in 2009, to 255 in 2012. Property crimes are also on the rise, with 430 burglaries in 2009, compared to 591 burglaries in 2012.
"Each additional officer on the street helps make our community safer," Allender said.
The COPS Hiring Program offers grants to state, local and Tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community policing officers. The program provides salaries and benefits for these new positions for three years. This year's grant recipients were selected based on fiscal needs, local crime rates, and community policing plans.
The grant will allow the department's sworn strength to grow to 122 officers. The department hopes to fill the new positions right away, and is currently accepting applications for police officers. The application deadline is Oct. 30, with candidate testing set for Nov. 2.
For more information about applicant requirements and the testing process, visit www.rapidcitypolice.org.