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By EMIL WHITIS
Daily Press Staff Writer

The Artesia Police Department (APD) has been awarded a $189,000 grant from the federal government through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

“This is a great thing for the community of Artesia,” said APD Chief Don Raley. “It allows us to expand our community policing department.”

He said the money will allow the APD to hire another officer entirely dedicated to crime prevention and public relations. The officer’s specific duties will include improving response techniques and student resource officer (SRO) programs, along with organizing informational community events such as the APD’s recent gang seminar.

“The hiring of this new officer, who will be completely committed to the prevention of crime, will allow the police department to focus specifically on the crime trends we have noticed in Artesia and propose proactive solutions to the problems,” said APD Sgt. Lindell Smith.

The grant was written to cover the officer’s salary and benefits package for three years.

Raley said COPS was established under President Bill Clinton in the 1990’s to curb a sharply-rising crime rate. The office was cut during President George W. Bush’s tenure, then recently re-established under President Barak Obama. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.