U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Grants to the Greenbrier County, West Virginia Sheriff's Department
The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of three grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), to the Greenbrier County, West Virginia Sheriffs Department (Department). The Department received a grant of $55,061 to hire 1 additional sworn police officer under the Funding Accelerated for Smaller Towns (FAST) program; $121,368 to hire 2 additional officers under the Universal Hiring Program (UHP); and $44,064 to hire 1 civilian and redeploy 1 officer under the Making Officer Redeployment Effective (MORE) program. The purpose of the additional officers is to enhance community policing efforts.
We found that the Department violated grant requirements as follows:
- The Department based requests for reimbursement on budgeted rather than actual costs.
- Budgeted funds for police services increased each year from 1992 through 1997, remained steady in 1998, but fell in 1999. The number of county-funded officers budgeted decreased by one in 1997, the year after the FAST officer was added to the budget.
- The Department did not appear to be making a good faith effort to fill officer vacancies timely. As a result, we question $8,993 in costs for the FAST officer employed during the time of vacancy.
- We found no appropriations or other documentation to identify the source of local matching funds.
- The Department had terminated the officers hired under the UHP program, and did not provide us with any evidence of a plan or efforts to retain them. As such, we question $11,001 in costs to the federal government of the UHP officers, and recommend that $110,367 in funds be put to better use.
- The Department had no formal plan to retain the FAST officer or the MORE civilian. As a result, we recommend withholding funds remaining under these programs until a plan is developed.
- The Department Initial Report was submitted to COPS as a result of audit fieldwork, but it was 496 days late. The Department did not submit Officer Progress Reports for the UHP officers.
- Financial Status Reports did not accurately report total program costs or the federal share of program costs. In addition, 5 of 18 reports were submitted untimely.
- Community policing activities consisted of routine law enforcement duties. This was a deviation from the activities stated in the FAST grant application.
These items are discussed in the FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS section of the report. Our SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY appear in APPENDIX II.