U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, Billings, Montana
January 26, 1998
The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of the grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), to the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, Billings, Montana. The Sheriff's Office received a grant of $450,000 to hire or rehire six sworn police officers under the Universal Hiring Program (UHP). The purpose of the additional officers is to enhance community policing efforts.
Budgeted funds for police services and the number of officers budgeted increased each year since FY 1995, the year before the beginning of the grant. Funds provided under the grant were used to enhance the Sheriff's Office's community policing efforts. The number of officers performing community policing activities increased by the number of officers funded under the grant.
However, we found the following weaknesses with regard to meeting the grant conditions:
- Unallowable costs totalling $33,512 were included in total costs incurred through August 1997. Unallowable costs included overtime, funding for a vacant position, and fringe benefits which were not shown in the COPS application.
- The Department Initial Report was not prepared, nor was the Financial Status Report for the quarter ended December 1995.
- The Department Annual Report and the Officer Progress Reports were not submitted timely. Also, the number of funded sworn deputy positions was understated by one in the Department Annual Report.
- Provisions had not been made to fund the COPS deputy positions upon expiration of the grant.