U.S. Department of Justice


Audit Report





March 31, 1998




The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of the grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), to the Lavon Police Department, Lavon, Texas. The Lavon Police Department was awarded grants of $70,274 to hire or rehire one sworn police officer under the Funding Accelerated for Smaller Towns (FAST) program and $182,420 to hire or rehire two full-time and one part-time additional police officers under the Universal Hiring Program (UHP). In addition, the Lavon Police Department was awarded $14,505 to redeploy 0.9 officers under the Making Officer Redeployment Effective (MORE) program. The purpose of the additional officers is to enhance community policing efforts.

Due to the Lavon Police Department's failure to meet the terms and conditions of the grant, we are questioning $55,576 of $59,273 (or 93.8 percent) in funds received under the FAST/UHP grant at the time of our audit. In addition, $72,220 of the remaining $193,421 (or 37.3 percent) in FAST/UHP grant funds should be withheld as funds to better use due to the Lavon Police Department's overstatement of salaries and benefits in its grant application and the Lavon Police's failure to follow the supplanting and officer retention requirements of the grant. Further, based on the absence of an officer redeployment tracking system, we are questioning $4,147 received under the MORE grant.

We found the following discrepancies with regard to meeting grant conditions:

- The Lavon Police Department improperly received payment of $43,520 for police officer salaries and benefits awarded under the FAST grant.

- The Lavon Police Department supplanted $10,036 in police officer salaries with UHP grant funds by not replacing a City-funded officer prior to hiring two grant-funded officers.

- The Lavon Police Department failed to notify the COPS office that it would not replace a grant-funded officer that had left the Lavon Police. We question the $2,020 in grant funds paid to the officer because of the unapproved program change.

- The Lavon Police Department overstated its FAST/UHP grant applications by $40,582.

- The FAST/UHP grant award amounts should be reduced by $31,638 because the City failed meet the officer retention requirement of the grant.

- The Lavon Police Department was reimbursed $4,147 in MORE grant funds, but did not track the redeployment of officers to community policing.

- The Lavon Police Department did not submit the required Departmental Initial Report or Department Annual Reports.