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St. Louis area to receive $11 million in stimulus money for more police

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 28, 2009 - The White House announced today that St. Louis area police departments would receive more than $11 million in federal stimulus money to hire or rehire law enforcement officers.

The money is part of $1 billion distributed nationwide to 1,046 law enforcement agencies from all 50 states. Illinois received more than $25 million in grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of 106 law enforcement officers, while nearly $20 million went to fund the hiring and rehiring of 118 law enforcement officers in Missouri.

The biggest share of the local grants will go to the St. Louis police, which will receive nearly $8.7 million. Other local Missouri departments to get grants include University City, Berkeley, Bel-Ridge, Kinloch, Pagedale and Jennings.

In Metro East, grants went to police in East St. Louis, Granite City, Alton and Alorton.

The money will provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for the police officers for three years. Departments receiving the grants will be required to retain the grant-funded positions for a fourth year.

"A big part of the Recovery Act is about building communities -- making them as strong as they can be, allowing every American family to live a better life than the one they are leading now," Vice President Joe Biden said. "And we can't achieve the goal of stronger communities without supporting those who keep our streets safe."

Attorney General Eric Holder added:

"These Recovery Act funds will pump much needed resources into communities through a program with a proven track record. The tremendous demand for these grants is indicative of both the tough times our states, cities and tribes are facing, and the unyielding commitment by law enforcement to making our communities safer."

The Department of Justice received more than 7,200 applications seeking $8.3 billion to fund more than 39,000 officer positions.

Dale Singer began his career in professional journalism in 1969 by talking his way into a summer vacation replacement job at the now-defunct United Press International bureau in St. Louis; he later joined UPI full-time in 1972. Eight years later, he moved to the Post-Dispatch, where for the next 28-plus years he was a business reporter and editor, a Metro reporter specializing in education, assistant editor of the Editorial Page for 10 years and finally news editor of the newspaper's website. In September of 2008, he joined the staff of the Beacon, where he reported primarily on education. In addition to practicing journalism, Dale has been an adjunct professor at University College at Washington U. He and his wife live in west St. Louis County with their spoiled Bichon, Teddy. They have two adult daughters, who have followed them into the word business as a communications manager and a website editor, and three grandchildren. Dale reported for St. Louis Public Radio from 2013 to 2016.