LaredoLeaderinTradesavethedatebackgroundart

2012
Federal
Legislative
Agenda
 

Background

The City of Laredo has made it a goal to enhance the quality of life in Laredo by providing optimum police services. In 1995, the City of Laredo received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to assist the Laredo Police Department implement the Community-Oriented Policing (COPS) concept. The Laredo Police Department hired six grant-funded police officers that piloted a community policing initiative in an identified high crime area with evident signs of social disorganization. After several months, community policing officers assigned to this area made such a positive impact that the Laredo Police Department (LPD) decided to adopt the COPS philosophy for citywide implementation.

Since that time, with the enabling assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice COPS funding, the City of Laredo gained 155 new police officers. In furthering the COPS concept, the Laredo Police Department added 17 officer workstations/buildings and still functions under the COPS concept; maintaining a focus on community policing issues.

To date, millions in federal funding dollars through the COPS Office of the DOJ have been awarded to the City of Laredo for continued hiring of personnel (both sworn and civilian) and for the acquisition of better equipment and newer technology to enhance Laredo's COPS model of policing. Currently, the Laredo Police Department has been awarded a Universal Hiring Program COPS grant. This award allowed the LPD to hire 22 new police officers and assign them in order to build upon and expand on the community-oriented policing philosophy.

 

Funding History City of Laredo 

  YR

#of Officers 

 Funding

COPS AHEAD 

1995

6

$448,398.00

UHP*

1996 

10

$750,000.00

UHP 

1997

10

$750,000.00

UHP

1998

20

$1,500,000 

UHP 

1999

30

$2,250,000.00

UHP 

2002

40

$3,000,000.00

MORE 2000**

2000

2.1

$51,973.00

MORE 2001 

2001

40

$1,000,000.00

COPS IN SCHOOLS***

2001

14

$1,750,000 

UHP

2002

15

$1,125,000.00

COPS IN SCHOOLS 

2002

10

$1,250,000.00

UHP

2010

22

$4,369,266.00

Totals

219.1

$18,244,637.00

*Universal Hiring Program
**Civilian Personnel
***Equipment (MDTs)
****School Resource Officers

The crime situation on the U.S./Mexico border continues to be very volatile due to instability with the drug cartel scene and hard-line Mexican Federal Government drug enforcement activities. Unfortunately, this same instability negatively influences tourism, trade and commerce on the U.S. side of the border and coupled with the national economic downturn, has forced local government to make hard decisions to eliminate, freeze or not fund even critical positions to include those of police officers. For the FY2010 budget, the City of Laredo necessarily opted to not fund 25 of approved 482 officer positions and freeze any position that is vacated by attrition. Following suit, 5 of the 84 authorized civilian positions were left unfunded.

These officers have to service a fluctuating population of 236,000 - 250,000 inhabitants. This translates to approximately 1.8 officers for every 1,000 inhabitants. The national average is at 2.4 officers for every 1,000 inhabitants. These numbers clearly show there is a need for added sworn personnel in the Laredo Police Department. Civilian personnel are also needed to accomplish departmental needs. The work done by civilian personnel allows sworn officers to be redeployed to the streets for field duty, where their expertise is of greater benefit to the community.

Target Agency

U.S. Department of Justice, COPS

Contact

Carlos Maldonado
Chief of Police

4712 Maher Avenue
Laredo, Texas 78041

Phone: (956) 795-2888
Fax: (956) 795-3120

Email:
cmaldonado@ci.laredo.tx.us

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