CHULA VISTA (CNS) - The U.S. Department of Justice Monday announced a $750,000 to the city of Chula Vista to hire six recent military veterans for its police force.
The grant money is a portion of $111.2 million awarded nationwide by the DOJ Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, to hire 800 veterans. To be eligible, applicants must have served in a branch of the military for at least 180 days since Sept. 11, 2001.
Chula Vista was the only San Diego County recipient, and one in five in Southern California to receive the grants, which cover salary and benefits for the positions for three years.
Los Angeles received the largest grant in the nation -- $6.4 million -- to hire 25 veterans as police officers. Two other Los Angeles County cities -- Montebello and South El Monte -- received grants of $125,000 apiece to hire one officer; and Hemet in Riverside County got $630,000 to hire three officers.
"Since we got into office, the president and I have been committed to helping our returning heroes find jobs and transition back into civilian life," Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement issued by the White House. "A lot of them want to keep serving now that they're back, and these COPS Grants help give them that chance."
The annual Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grants were previously aimed at helping police departments maintain officers in the face of budget cuts. President Barack Obama in February announced this year's grants would go specifically to cities that hire new veterans.
"Today, we step up our support for recent veterans by offering them the chance to pursue meaningful careers in law enforcement," Attorney General Eric Holder said. "At a time of budget shortfalls, these grants will provide opportunities for much-needed, highly-trained professionals with a proven commitment to service to continue their careers in communities all across the country."
A major construction project at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry was completed ahead of schedule early Monday morning.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department officials are increasing staffing levels in anticipation of increased fire activity.
It was a hopping good time in Balboa Park on Sunday at the 8th annual Bunnyfest. Hundreds joined the San Diego House Rabbit Society for a big playdate that's all for a good cause. The money raised Sunday will go towards helping the rabbit society find loving homes for their adoptable bunnies.
An early morning vegetation and trash fire at a homeless encampment threatened nearby condos and resulted in at least one injury Sunday.
After a fall-like and mild weekend, temperatures are expected to heat up around San Diego throughout the week.
The city's search for the next top cop is underway as police chief Shelly Zimmerman prepares to step down in March.
More than 200 surfers paddled out for a daunting day-long challenge Saturday inspired by young men in the community facing a far bigger one.
A semi-truck ran over a fire hydrant Saturday afternoon in Grant Hill causing a huge geyser to spray into the air. Luckily, firefighters were just minutes away at a community event and were able to put a stop to the water quickly.