The Salinas Police Department has traditionally run a strong School Resource Officer (SRO) program. In 2008, due to budget and personnel shortages, SPD disbanded its SRO Unit. The Salinas Police Department is pleased to announce that as part of our ongoing efforts to improve services to the community we have secured a US Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant in the amount of $3,400,528 to fund eight School Resource Officers for a three year period. These grants normally require the receiving entity to match funding received from the grant. The COPS Office realized that matching funds were not available from the City of Salinas so SPD requested a waiver of the matching funds requirement. Recognizing the desperate financial state Salinas faces and the need for School Resource Officers, the COPS Office agreed to waive the matching funds requirement. This waiver will save the City approximately $2,400,528.00 and allow the police department to reinstate a much needed service to our youth that would otherwise go unfunded. Reinstating the School Resource Officer program will benefit the entire city by increasing educational opportunities and creating safer schools. Perhaps most importantly, the SRO program will allow for positive interactions between the city's youth and police officers.
This grant will allow SPD to hire eight police officers. SPD currently has seven officer vacancies, bringing the total number of police officer positions needed to fill to 15. We are actively recruiting residents of Salinas and surrounding communities to apply for the position of Police Officer. Bilingual and female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. No prior law enforcement experience is necessary. SPD will hire applicants as police recruits and send them to a local police academy. Lateral applicants (police officers currently serving with other Departments) and academy graduates are also welcome to apply. Interested applicants can visit salinaspd.com and click on the 'we're hiring” tab to begin the application process.
Chief Kelly McMillin said, 'The SRO program is an industry standard, but in today's fiscal environment SROs are simply too costly for the Police Department. We are grateful to the COPS Office for this opportunity to better serve the youth of Salinas.”
Chief McMillin will be available to answer questions about this grant and the SRO Program and police officer recruitment at Superintendent Nancy Katowski's press conference on Thursday, October 2, 2014, 10 – 11 a.m. at the Monterey County Office of Education, Rooms A/B, 901 Blanco Circle, Salinas, CA