At a press conference and announcement in Cortland today, state Senator James L. Seward unveiled a $32,000 grant to help fund expansion of the city’s Police Outreach Program (POP) to create the Community Outreach Partnership Center in Cortland’s east end. The expansion would include a city partnership with SUNY Cortland.
"The program has been beneficial to the young people of the city, and it has expanded and improved relations between police officers, youth and neighborhoods," Sen. Seward said. "I congratulate those who have made the program a success and want to take this opportunity to highlight their efforts."
The state award funds the salary and expenses for the time spent by a city police officer at the community center each day, who is available to meet with residents and young people about their concerns. It started as a pilot program in 1999 as a joint effort by the police department and youth bureau to provide a safe environment for young people and to address behavioral problems. Since its inception, criminal activity at city facilities has decreased.
The center is a hub of activity, including neighborhood watch meetings, classes, and other community efforts that foster positive police-community relations
The money comes from the Edward Byrne Memorial program, federal funds administered by the state and set aside in the 2003-2004 state budget.