Hickman said he believed his department's prudent use of grant funds and fiscal responsibility with state and federal monies were deciding factors in LPD being chosen to receive the funds. He also credited his administrative assistant, Sue Williams, with having done the real work in securing the grant.

 


Leesville Chief of Police Bobby Hickman is happy enough with the award of $128,213 to fund hiring another police officer, despite having asked for enough funds to hire six officers.
Leesville was one of 12 agencies statewide that received the funds, which are the result of a move by the Obama administration to provide grants to help keep police officers on the beat during the economic downturn, according to the Associated Press.
"We are very happy to get the award of grant funds," he said in an email. "Leesville was competing against every (police department) in the state."
Of the 12 agencies in the state awarded funds, LPD was the only one with a population less than 50,000, he added.
Hickman said he believed his department's prudent use of grant funds and fiscal responsibility with state and federal monies were deciding factors in LPD being chosen to receive the funds. He also credited his administrative assistant, Sue Williams, with having done the real work in securing the grant.
"As a police chief, I can only pursue and lobby for the grant monies," he said. "Someone has to be in the trenches filing out endless forms and answering questions. I commend Ms. Williams for her continued diliagence."
The program will provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for an entry level officer position over a three-year period. Police departments receiving the grants will then be required to fund the positions.
"We believe attrition will absorb the positions once the funding ends," said New Orleans Police spokesman Bob Young. "In the meantime, it lets us get 15 more officers on the streets."
New Orleans got $2,523,345 to pay for new hires.
Both St. Bernard and New Orleans are trying to rebuild their forces following Hurricane Katrina. 
"Pre-Katrina we had 400 people on the force," said St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jimmy Pohlmann. "Some of that is simply funding. We don't have a lot of businesses back yet and our sales tax is not what it was."
St. Bernard received $1,892,352 to pay the salaries of 14 new deputies.
Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday the money from the Community Oriented Policing Services program, called COPS, was sent to places with the highest crime rates and the biggest budgetary problems.
The grants in Louisiana ranged from $68,876 to provide one additional officer to the Tallulah Police Department to more than $3 million for the Shreveport Police Department. In all, the grants will cover expenses for 88 new officers and $12.1 million in funding.
The other grants were as follows:
— Dillard University Department of Public Safety, $102,192 for one officer.
— Gretna Police Department, $692,872, for four officers.
— Kenner Police Department, $1,263,336 for eight officers.
— Monroe Police Department, $1,133,289 for nine officers.
— St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office, $235,056 for three officers.
— St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office, $629,512 for four officers.
— Shreveport Police Department, $3,300,426 for 27 officers.
— Tangipahoa Police Department, $155,979 for one officer.

Mary Foster, an Associated Press writer, contributed to this article.