LONG BRANCH - The city's police department is the only one at the Jersey Shore - and one of only six in the state - getting federal help to add new full-time police officers in current funding from the US Justice Department.

Long Branch police cruiser (Long Branch Police)

Long Branch qualified for a share of $98,495,397 in the newest round of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring grants. The list was issued today by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The grants allow departments to hire officers for three years, to address specific crime situations through community policing strategies. Awards were announced for 179 law enforcement agencies. Federal officials estimated that the grants would allow a total of 802 full-time officers to be hired.

The city will is scheduled to receive $625,000, the second-highest allocation among the six in New Jersey, matching the grant for Paramus and exceeded only by the Essex County Sheriff's Department, which is in line for $1,875,000. Nutley and West Orange are to receive $500,000. Moonachie is scheduled for $125,000.

Neither Long Branch, nor Monmouth County, is categorized as a sanctuary area as defined by the Center for Immigration Studies. According to prepared remarks attributed to Sessions, "...80 percent of this year's COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities."

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), cooperation may include "providing access to detention facilities for an interview of aliens in the jurisdiction's custody and providing advance notice of an alien's release from custody upon request."

COPS grants since 1994 total more than $14,000,000,000, according to DOJ. See the full list of current hiring grants here.

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