"We don't know yet how much it's going to affect us," said Newport
Beach Police Sgt. Steve Shulman. "But the federal money has been very
beneficial to us in terms of staffing."
The federal matching funds pay newly-hired officers' salaries for
three years, after which the departments take over and pay the full
salary. Newport Beach has received $750,000 to hire officers and $1.9
million for technology upgrades over four years, said Shulman. That
$750,000 would definitely disappear under Bush's budget.
The other two areas of COPS that will not suffer because of the budget
cuts are the school resource officers program, in which officers patrol
local schools and act as mentors to students, and the funding to purchase
equipment and upgrade technology.
But the COPS program as a whole provides police departments with "what
they need the most -- people and technology," said Shulman.
Newport Beach has two school resource officers who patrol Corona del
Mar and Newport Harbor high schools and Ensign Junior High School.
The officers who are assigned to the schools full-time also teach
classes relating to drug abuse and violence.
"The program has worked out real well," said Shulman. "We've got
positive feedback from the community and the officers have built a good
rapport with the students."
Their constant presence on campus also helps deter students from
committing crimes, he said.
While Costa Mesa does not use the COPS program to hire officers
because it is not "feasible," it does plan on using available funds next
year to assign officers to its schools, said Police Chief David Snowden.
The school resource officers program will be modeled after Newport
Beach's program, said Capt. Tom Warnack. Whether the program will take
off or not depends on City Council approval, he said.
The total cost to set up that program, including equipment and
salaries for two officers, amounts to $296,500.