Senator James L. Seward today announced $25,000 in state funding for the City of Cortland's Police Outreach Program, which includes community police services at the East End Community Center. The program is a cooperative effort between the Cortland Police Department and the Cortland Youth Bureau. Its objective is to foster positive relationships between area residents and local law enforcement.
Previous grants sponsored by Seward for the program helped fund personal safety seminars, home safety and crime prevention programs, child fingerprinting, police patrols and other educational efforts. Today's announcement will ensure continuation of the program in the city.
"The opinion of local officials and citizens is unanimous that the outreach program at the East End Community Center has been an overwhelming success," Seward said. "Community support is absolutely key to the vitality of a program like this, and with united local support I fought to make sure we could earmark funding for the program."
"The dual pronged approach of putting officers in the relatively high crime area of the city's South End and the prevention programs held at the community center, including the crime prevention workshops by the city police department, have resulted in a substantial positive impact on the entire city," said Cortland Mayor Tom Gallagher. "With an additional year of funding available, thanks to Senator Seward, we hope to strengthen and expand our efforts to make neighborhoods safe and build bridges between members of our local police department and the people they serve."
"Quality of life issues regarding penal law and city code violations such as alcohol and drug abuse are being addressed in a proactive manner," wrote Police Chief James C. Nicholas to Seward. "Additionally, members of the department assisted in the formation of a neighborhood watch program. The successes of these expansions have been well documented in our local paper."
The funding was allocated in the 2006-2007 state budget under the Justice Assistance Grant program, which utilizes federal Edward Byrne funding. The grant will be administered by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.