COPS program to help Selma bolster ranks

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Selma will receive two police officers under a COPS Hiring Recovery Program.

Vice President Joe Biden made the announcement today that the Department of Justice COPS program awarded $1 billion in Recovery Act funding.

A total of 44 jurisdictions in Alabama received funding for 114 officers, totaling $15,952,611 for three years.

Email newsletter signup

Selma’s application, which is available at, shows the city police department requested two officers, totaling $233,740 over three years.

But before having to wait two weeks for the money to roll down the federal pipeline, the Selma City Council voted to approve hiring the two police officers right away.

“I will find the money somewhere in someplace where there is overtime that won’t be used,” said Mayor George Evans as he urged the council to go ahead and hire the two police officers.

Selma Police Chief William Riley III said he was glad to get the notice that Selma had received two officers from the three-year grant program.

“With these, this brings us up to 53,” Riley said of the city’s police force.

That grant application shows the current first year entry-level base salary for one sworn officer position is $28,174.

Fringe benefits include Social Security, $1,747; Medicare $409; health insurance, $3,260; life insurance, $203; retirement, $2,471; workers compensation, $1,845; unemployment insurance $73.

After three years, the city will have to pick up the salaries and benefits for the officers.