City hoping to boost police protection

By Jon Hawley

The Daily Advance

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Elizabeth City officials want to hire another police officer to combat gun violence and gangs, and they’re hoping a three-year, more than $100,000 federal grant will help them do that.

Last week, the city’s finance committee recommended the city seek a U.S. Department of Justice “Community Police Oriented Services” grant that could match the costs of hiring another officer. The city council is set consider sending the grant tonight.

City Manager Rich Olson reported that’d take the Elizabeth City Police Department from 59 sworn officers to 60. The grant would cover 75 percent of the cost of hiring the officer up to a total of $125,000, with the city picking up the remaining 25 percent. Olson said the ECPD gets enough calls for service to justify the position. The COPS program would require the city keep the position for at least a fourth year and pay the officer with only local funds. Olson recommends keeping the position permanently.

According to a city memo, an entry-level ECPD officer is paid $35,834 annually plus $12,542 in benefits, equating to total compensation over three years of $145,125. If the grant covers up to 75 percent of that, the city would have to come up with $36,281 over that time.

Olson noted the ECPD is also hoping to win $200,000 through a Governor’s Highway Safety Grant for two new officers, new patrol vehicles and other equipment. Those officers would have to be assigned to traffic patrols, and the grant would only pay for their salaries for their first year; the city would also like to retain those officers permanently. Olson said he’s expecting to receive a grant decision next month.

Comments

Police are a deterrent, not protection

It's amazing just how gullible the public is when it comes to law enforcement "protection". First of all, let me clarify my statement. Law Enforcement is a deterrent, not protection. There is nothing in the oath they take that says they put themselves between you and the criminal seeking to do you harm. Their oath states that they are sworn to UPHOLD THE LAW. Just ask any LE officer. You want protection? Then go hire a bodyguard, or better yet, a mercenary. Law enforcement is 99.9% reactionary. Sure, sometimes they get lucky and arrive in time to intervene in a crime in progress. But, more often than not, it's all over but the shouting by the time they arrive. The public has been lulled into believing that all they have to do is call 911 and an officer will be there in the blink of an eye to "protect" them. Nothing is farther from the truth. The national average for LE response to any emergency is around 30 minutes. Fire fighters have a quicker response time than that! Ever notice how the fire department is on the scene pronto and the law officer comes pulling up afterwards? Mr. Olson wants another officer to "combat" crime? To help deter crime would be the proper wording. As for the 3 year grant, who is going to fund this officer after 3 years. That's right! Who? Unless there's another grant available, the taxpayer picks up the tab! So, the next time your life is in jeopardy, just remember this,"When seconds count, the police are just minutes away".

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