TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The streets of New Jersey are about to become a bit safer with the help of more than $5 million in federal grants targeted at enhancing public safety.

The money comes from the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which is providing more than $18 million overall to agencies across the country.

East Orange will receive $1.5 million in COPS grants and Mayor Lester Taylor said the money will be put to good use right away.

“We will be able to hire 16 additional police officers for the City of East Orange to work in our schools, particularly our middle and high schools,” Taylor said.

Forty-six police officers will be hired in total across the state, according to New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez.

“These grants will help protect our communities and keep our residents safe,” said Menendez. “The fact is we know that budgets are tight, choices are difficult, but public safety is our bedrock responsibility, and it is the responsibility of government leaders to provide it. We can’t let Republicans continue to put vital public safety grants at risk over political brinkmanship.”

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Jersey City and New Jersey’s Law and Public Safety Department will be getting hundreds of thousands in grants to help combat gang activity.

Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, said the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will receive $594,023 through the COPS anti-gang initiative program; Jersey City will get $750,000 and the state’s Law and Public Safety Department will get $659,916.

The department also will receive $103,227 through the COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force Program.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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