Westland police receive $500K federal grant for more officers

WESTLAND, Mich. (FOX 2) - Westland has gotten a $500,000 federal grant to add more police - the helping hand coming from the Department of Justice.

"It’s a national problem Hilary we’ve had talks with police chiefs across the country they’ve had a hard time staffing these departments," said Mayor Michael Londeau.

That’s true for law enforcement across the country are in stiff competition to attract men and women, to protect and serve.

"Everyone is competing for the same small group of police officers that are coming out now," Londeau said.

The City of Westland will also match a portion of the $500,000 grant as well, the mayor said.

The grant is named Community Oriented Policing Services  - appropriately acronymed COPS which will add four additional police officers.

"We have four shifts so that puts one (additional) body on every shift, I know shift commanders are going to be very happy about that," Londeau.

"We haven’t gotten this grant since 2014, because it’s a very competitive grant, people are applying for it across the country."

The police department which is currently, according to the mayor, short five or six officers.

Westland PD endured a massive scandal recently when the former police chief Jeff Jedrusick resigned last April after videos came to light depicting alleged misconduct.

Hilary Golston, FOX 2: "Do you feel confident that the issues that happened with the previous chief are not systemic in any way to the department?"

"No, unfortunately those incidents happened over 25 years ago, many of the officers who worked at that particular time are no longer working, they have all retired," Londeau said. "We have a new culture here, a new chief, a new leadership team, and they are working really good. I meet with them once a week at least so, and I challenge them to be better than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we were today."

The current Westland Police Chief is Kyle Dawley.

"That was months ago, we've moved on, we have a new, fulltime chief who's doing a great job and has his own ideas. And I love his ideas on how he is willing to move his department forward."

The mayor hopes that with new leadership and the right attitude, they can move in the right direction and be the best they can be.

<div>Westland Mayor Michael Londeau</div>
Westland Mayor Michael Londeau