Lamar Co. Sheriff's Department awarded COPS grant

Lamar Co. Sheriff's Department awarded COPS grant
Photo credit: WDAM

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Lamar County Sheriff's Department will soon be adding more deputies to the force with the help of a federal grant.

Lamar County was one of two agencies in Mississippi, and one of 179 in the country, to receive the Community Oriented Policing Services, otherwise known as (COPS) grant.

"This grant will allow our department to hire three new deputies to the force, and it will bring our total up to 46 in the department," said Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel.

Rigel said they applied for the grant back in June, and that it was a very extensive process, and the total that his department will get is $330,111.

The department just expanded for the first time since 2006, in October, adding three other officers.

"So, you look at it, this year we will be adding six total deputies, which is a big help," Rigel said.

The COPS organization has invested more than $14 million into helping advance departments since 1994.

The grant will provide 75 percent of newly hired officers' salary for a three-year period, while the county would be responsible for the remaining 25 percent of the salaries, plus matching funds.

Rigel said those extra funds will come from the forfeitures and seized asset funds.