The Cops Hiring and Recovery Program grant comes the U.S. Department of Justice.
“We were awarded $123,307 and that is to cover the hiring of one police officer, fully funded, for three years,” LaFayette public safety director Tommy Freeman said. “That dollar amount that they (Department of Justice) awarded covers salary and benefit costs over that three-year time span.”
The LaFayette Police Department has 22 officers.
The department learned of the grant approval on Tuesday. The grant was applied for several months ago, Freeman said.
But LaFayette City Council must give a final OK.
“We actually will not get any money until the City Council approves on receiving the grant funds, because after the three years the city has to commit to retaining that one individual for one year after the grant expires to comply with the grant,” Freeman said. “So this has got to be approved by the City Council to accept the grant.”
Hopefully the economy will be a lot better in four years, but there is no way for anyone to determine that now, Freeman said.
“It is just something that needs to be looked at, and of course the council will have to look at the entire paperwork of the grant, and accept or deny the grant,” he said.
Freeman said the council will discuss the matter at its September meeting.
“It would help us hire somebody and put them into a good job, with benefits, for four years minimum,” Freeman said. “The increase in manpower for our department would be one of the greatest benefits, because we would be able to put extra manpower out on the streets and help us get back up to where we need to be in order to adequately police this community.
“After the fourth year, the city would have to fund that position totally, so that is going to be an incurred cost the fourth year. But for three years it doesn’t cost anything. It is a nice way to get manpower, if you can qualify for it.”