MPD not chosen for grant to hire up to 15 cops

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Police Chief Mike Koval has been asking for more officers for a while now. He says his current patrol officers are stretched thin. But now, Koval will have to find another way to bring 15 officers onboard after the department did not receive a federal grant.

It was the Community Oriented Policing Services Grant (COPS), given out by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Chief Koval asked for nearly $2,000,000 through the grant which would have helped MPD add 15 new officers. 

Koval noted it was a long shot, but even without the grant, he says he needs more patrol officers. 

"A lot of calls are stacking up in ques and it's harder for the officers to take off or to get off, and we have forced overtime and that's not sustainable from a mental health and well-being standpoint for the officers. And it's certainly not good for the end users: the constituents," Chief Koval said. 

He says the department has 95 officers that could retire soon, that's a fourth of the department. 

179 agencies around the country received grant money, including three in Wisconsin: The Lacrosse, City of Rice Lake and Sparta police departments. 

Madison's Common Council agreed to match $750,000 if the department got the grant. Chief Koval said he's optimistic the city will still give the department the funds. 

Under the COPS Grant's application criteria, dealing with illegal immigration was a top priority. Chief Koval has said in the past, when it comes to civil deportation, Koval, MPD will leave it to the feds. 

However, Koval does not believe that's the reason the department didn't get the grant.

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