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Haywood County Sheriff’s Office receives community policing personnel grant

Haywood County, NC- The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a hiring grant that will add four full time patrol deputies to the office.

U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced Monday, November 20 that hiring grants for community policing officers were awarded to two local law enforcement agencies in the Western District of North Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program awarded $480,963 to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office to fund the hiring of four officers, and $375,000 to the Statesville Police Department to fund the hiring of three officers.

The two hiring grants will provide local law enforcement with the resources they need to strengthen their ability to fight crime and to protect the well-being of citizens in their communities.

“We received the good news e-mail while in the middle of our weekly command staff meeting,” said Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher. “Everyone in the room was thrilled that this opportunity came through for our office as well as for the communities we serve. It has been a long time since the Sheriff’s Office has been awarded personnel grant funding.  This will be great for our county.”

Sheriff Christopher added that a motto the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office follows wholeheartedly is “we must get to know our communities, before we need to know our communities,” meaning, proactivity when it comes to building trusting, valuable and powerful relationships in the community is a must—instead of taking the approach of only interacting with citizens during enforcement actions or when something bad happens.

As patrol deputies maintain incredibly high call volumes throughout their shifts, these new positions will give tremendous opportunities for more area-specific placement of deputies.

“We will have more manpower to zero in on where some of the big issues are in our communities. We will have a familiar face and regular presence in these areas so that relationship/trust building process will become even stronger,” said Christopher. “This specific placement of deputies will give us greater knowledge of the criminal activity intricacies of these areas, as well.”

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office was among 179 law enforcement agencies across the nation awarded a combined $98,495,397 through the COPS Hiring Program.

The COPS Office is the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by providing grant funding directly to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to support hiring additional law enforcement officers for three years to address specific crime problems.