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By EMIL WHITIS
Daily Press Staff Writer

Tuesday night, during a city council meeting, councilors voted to accept a federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant, hire a full-time patrol officer (to fulfill the grant) and hire a part-time patrolman to fill a vacant position opened through the previous actions.

“This grant will be valued at approximately $189,000,” Artesia Police Department (APD) Chief Don Raley told councilors. “(The federal government is) awarding what amounts to three years’ salary and benefits for an additional full-time law enforcement officer.”

He said one stipulation written into the grant is the city must maintain the position for a minimum of one year after the three-year grant expires.

“We have an opportunity to increase the staff by one that will remain federally funded for three years,” said Mayor Pro-tem Terry Hill. “The only caveat onto it is that we’ve got to maintain him for the fourth year.”

Raley said the department has everything it needs to equip the officer at present — no additional funding for uniforms, a patrol vehicle, a weapon etc. will be needed.

“The city is growing pretty quickly — we’ve got subdivisions opening up,” said Hill. “This is a great opportunity to get the services of an extra officer for four years and it will only cost us one.” … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.