Port Angeles police plan to fill vacancy with $125,000 grant

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The city’s Police Department plans to hire an officer to fill an anticipated vacancy using a $125,000 federal hiring grant.

The Port Angeles Police Department was awarded the federal Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, grant in September after applying in June, Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said.

The grant will pay for about half the cost of a full-time police officer for three years. Smith said. The city will pick up the rest.

The 2013 grant is the third the city has received since 2009, Smith added.

City Council members voted 6-1, with Councilwoman Sissi Bruch opposed, to accept the grant at their Dec. 17 meeting.

Bruch said she supported accepting the grant but said she was not comfortable with immediately beginning the search for a new officer.

“I’m not sure we should move into the recruitment of an officer yet until we have a discussion on the [city budget] priorities,” Bruch said.

Police Chief Terry Gallagher said the new officer would not add to the city’s 32-member police force. Instead the new hire will fill a vacancy he expects in the near future.

As part of the requirements of the grant, the Police Department must hire a military veteran who served after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and keep that officer for at least 12 months after the grant expires, Smith said.

Smith said the three COPS grants the city has received have been used to fund four commissioned officer positions since 2009, not including the grant awarded this year.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsula
dailynews.com.

Last modified: December 23. 2013 6:42PM
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