NCSO receives $300K grant to hire 2 deputies

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office has received a more than $300,000 grant to hire two additional deputies, Sheriff Ezell Brown announced this week.

The grant, totaling $303,020, was awarded by the Community Oriented Policing Services program of the U.S. Department of Justice and will pay for salaries and benefits of two deputies for a three-year period. The sheriff's office must retain those employees for at least one year after the grant expires. No matching funds are required.

The grant focuses on community-oriented policing and the deputies will be working with the CHAMPS program to prevent drug, alcohol and tobacco use and other negative behaviors among youth and with the Crime Suppression Unit, which targets high-crime areas in the county, according to Brown. Hiring will take place as soon as funds are received, Brown said.

The NCSO was the only sheriff's office in Georgia to receive the grant and one of 31 agencies in the state and 379 agencies nationwide. Brown gives much of the credit to grant writer Apryl Jones, who he said has fostered a good relationship with congressional leaders.

"Without her knowledge and presence, there's no way we would have received the additional funds we're getting from the Department of Justice and other sources," he said.

The new positions are especially important this year, with the sheriff's office suffering staffing and budget cuts.

"This will be a great help not only to the sheriff's office but also to the community," Brown said.