(the following is a news release from Governor Jared Polis' office)
DENVER - Today, Gov. Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Safety announced that law enforcement workforce grant applications are now open, providing robust funding for recruitment, retention, and training programs to build the public safety workforce for the future.
“To achieve our goal of making Colorado one of the ten safest states over the next five years, we need more and better policing. This important new support for police recruitment, retention, and training is one our state is stepping up to make Colorado communities safer,” said Gov. Polis.
Earlier this year in Grand Junction, Gov. Polis signed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Alex Valdez, Rep. Perry Will, Sen. Janet Buckner, and Sen. John Cooke to create three public safety grant programs. Applications for the two law enforcement workforce grants are now open, and the Multidisciplinary Crime Prevention Grants will open for applications this week.
Community leaders previously voiced support for this transformative legislation.
“The three grant programs that the bill funds are important to our communities and our profession. I appreciate the work of the sponsors and the eagerness of the Governor to sign the bill,” said Summit County Sheriff Jamie FitzSimons.
"SB22-145 is a huge step forward in providing Colorado law enforcement agencies with the tools, equipment and training that are so desperately needed. In addition, this legislation allows law enforcement agencies to hire a more representative workforce to better serve and engage with Colorado’s communities,” said Stan Hilkey, Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety.
“To protect our communities and keep them safe, we must invest in law enforcement and crime prevention. This bill does both. By funding crisis intervention programs as well as recruitment & retention of police officers, this bill is a major step forward towards the Governor’s goal of making Colorado one of the safest states in the union," said Brian Mason, 17th Judicial District Attorney.
"This legislation recognizes the critical need for communities to develop crime prevention and intervention strategies specific to their local needs. At the same time, it addresses the need for retaining and recruiting law enforcement, particularly those who represent the communities they serve. The Colorado Department of Public Safety is honored to be part of these new programs and truly believe they will help make Colorado one of the safest states in the country,” said Debbie Oldenettel, Deputy Director of the Division of Criminal Justice at the Colorado Department of Public Safety.
"I consider it an honor to speak on behalf of a bill I personally support and stand behind 100%, and that’s SB 22-145! I believe this bill was constructed in a way that will actually make an impact in our community, especially communities of color. We are grateful for the sponsors and especially grateful to our Governor, for signing a bill that puts community first," said Bishop Jerry Demmer, Denver Ministerial Alliance.
"This policy is a great start to building a foundation for community groups to work collaboratively with law enforcement in an effort to bring police legitimacy and increase community safety. We look forward to continued collaborative efforts to provide needed substance abuse services for repeat offenders to become productive members of society. We thank the bill sponsors of SB 22-145 for their work on this issue and the Governor's efforts as well as his support,” said Thomas Hernandez, Executive Director of Tribe Recovery Homes.