Purzycki won't accept federal COPS grant
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki announced today the city won’t accept a federal COPS grant.
The $1.8 million federal grant would have helped the city hire 15 additional police officers.
However, the city would need to spend an additional $3.5 million over the next four years to sustain the positions created by the grant. Purzycki says that’s not feasible in Wilmington’s current budget climate.
“These federal grants are not free money,” said Mayor Purzycki in a statement. “In theory, when cities accept these types of grants and add more police officers, they should do so with the understanding that the number of officers will be reduced by an equal amount through attrition when the grant expires.”
However, Purzycki said past practice in Wilmington proves that doesn’t happen.
Purzycki also cited new Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy’s opinion that current police capacity - 314 officers - is sufficient - even with the mayor’s plan to eliminate 5 vacant positions.
The grant was applied for by and awarded to the previous Williams administration, which deferred the decision on whether to accept it to Purzycki.