INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The City of Indianapolis is considering applying for a federal grant that would add 25 new officers to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
"You always need officers, but then when you have tough budgetary times and having assistance to hire officers, that could be a tremendous benefit to the city," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.
But the grant comes with a catch. It funds 75-percent of each officer's pay. The city would have to match the other 25-percent and agree to keep each officer for the fourth year.
"It's something we have to do the fiscal analysis on and we'll make that decision," said Riggs, who added the deadline to apply is May 22.
City officials say there are fewer officers on the department than there were in 2007.
James Jackson, a member of the police merit board, said he thinks the department needs more.
"To do a lot with the fewest number of people is extraordinary but, at the same time, a lot of officers are under a lot of stress because there's more work to do," he said.
Jackson called the possibility of a grant "wonderful."
The Department of Public Safety was recently awarded a similar grant to hire dozens of new firefighters.
Riggs said he is also considering other ways to add officers on the street.
"(We're) looking at moving – at minimum – 100 officers back to the patrol function. We need boots on the street here in Indianapolis. Every police department across the nation is starting to realize that and moving more people back to patrol. In these lean times, that's something we're looking at," said Riggs.
"Indianapolis has done a good job of balancing its budget, providing public safety," said Riggs. "We're in a lot better shape than most cities nationally."
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