Hudson The city could see more police officers through the Community Oriented Policing Services.

Council approved a resolution for the city manager to apply for the 2017 COPS officer hiring program funding from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The U.S. Department of Justice provides funding in the form of a COPS Officer Hiring Program Grant for hiring two new full-time entry-level sworn career law enforcement officers, including 75 percent of their salaries and fringe benefits, for 36 months and up to a maximum of $125,000 per officer.

If Hudson receives the grant, it is required to retain the COPS funded positions, in addition to the officers funded in the current budget, for a retention period of at least 12 months following the conclusion of the three-year award period.

The city is required to match the 25 percent of salaries and fringe benefits for 36 months and to retain the COPS funded positions for at least 12 months following the conclusion of the three-year award period.

At the June 6 Council meeting Chief David Robbins said the police staff of 29 officers has been the same since 2005. When officers are on vacation, paid leave or deployed for military service, staffing is at a minimum requirement.

"We are applying for the grant, but we do not know if we will receive it," said Communications Manager Jody Roberts. "We are applying as part of our succession planning for the future of the Hudson Police Department. We have a number of officers nearing retirement, and this grant, if we got it, would help with that planning."

The police chief didn't ask for more people, said Council member Dennis Hanink. "If we get the grant, we're locked in for four years for two more people," he said.

The police department is in transition with five officers able to retire in the next four years, said City Manager Jane Howington.

The resolution allows the city to get tax money back and train for succession of officers, Howington said. It would bring the number up from 29 to 31, which was the old number of officers.

With 29 officers, the police department can't always do proactive work, Howington said. The additional officers allows a transition for retirements. Once the force reaches 31, it could decide to fill an empty position or leave it empty.

Mayor Basil reminded Council that two officers are on short-term leave and one will be stationed in the Middle East for a year.

"I think this makes lots of sense," said Council member Dan Williams. "The city pays 25 percent for three years and that's a good deal."

"It bothers me we're short those two officers," Williams said. "We're not adding. We're just back to even."


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Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP