(WICHITA, Kan.) — The Wichita Police Department will see eight new police officers, thanks to a grant from the Department of Justice.
Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams announced the grant Friday. The federal grants from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) total around $1.6 million. That money will cover salary and benefits for entry-level officers for three years.
WPD says the new officers will be part of the January 2011 recruit class which is set to graduate next June. The new officers will be assigned to the Field Services Division, which is responsible for front-line police officers.
Williams says while these are brand new positions, they will help offset the shifts of officers on military leave. He says they usually have 10-15 officer's on active duty. He says the new positions will help them maintain the patrol levels on the street.
When applying for the grant, the city had to guarantee it would pay the salaries for the fourth year. Williams says with similar grants in the past, the city council has found a way to keep the officer's on for good. He hopes that's the case down the road.