Dobson seeks grant to hire more police officers


First Posted: 3/26/2009

DOBSONIt is possible Dobson could see a larger full-time law enforcement staff if it receives a grant designed to prevent police layoffs and put new officers on the streets.
Dobson commissioners agreed to apply for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Recovery Program grant Thursday night.
The grant program was part of the federal stimulus package passed last month by Congress and signed into law.
The competitive grant program provides funding directly to law enforcement agencies having primary law enforcement authority to create and preserve jobs. The grants will provide 100 percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and benefits for three years for newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions or for rehired officers who have been laid off, or are scheduled to be laid off on a future date, as a result of local budget cuts.
Up to $1 billion in grant funding will be available for the hiring and rehiring of additional career law enforcement officers across the nation.
Dobson Town Manager Lynn Burcham said part-time officers are eligible, and the grant would allow those employed at the Dobson Police Department to take on full-time positions for at least 36 months.
The department has about eight part-time officers, but only three work at a time, rotating shifts, she said. It has five full-time employees.
Grant funding will be based on current entry-level salary and benefits packages and therefore any additional costs for higher salaries or benefits for particular individuals hired will fall to the town.
Burcham suggested that the board could save money for the three years until the grant funding expires, and use those savings toward maintaining the salaried positions of those officers hired full-time. She said the police department wants to hire at least four positions full-time.
In other action the board:
Approved a recreation fund request of $600 for the Dobson Little League Football
Re-appointed Todd Dockery to serve a three-year term on the ABC Board.
Appointed Amy Hanson to the Dobson Tourism Authority to replace Bob Comer, whose term expired March 1.
Approved Jack L. Wilson, a certified public accountant, to audit the town books for fiscal year 2008-09, with the total cost for the work not to exceed $13,500.
The board also agreed to move its regularly scheduled meeting to April 15 instead of April 23, so that some of its members can assist with The first Pfc. Adam Lee Marion Memorial Golf Tournament. The event is being held in honor 26-year-old Army National Guardsman from Dobson, who was killed while serving in Iraq last April.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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