Waynesboro police are applying for grant money to hire an additional officer through a program that focuses on military veterans and school resource officers.
Police Chief James Sourbier is preparing an application for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program administered through the U.S. Department of Justice.
If named a recipient, the Borough of Waynesboro could have 75 percent of an officer’s salary and benefits paid each year for three years. The 25 percent that would remain the municipality’s responsibility would be about $58,000 over the three years, Sourbier said.
The police department is required to retain the officer after the three-year period.
The COPS program affects the hiring of new police officers or the re-hiring of laid-off ones. Sourbier said the program focuses on hiring veterans or school resource officers, but is not limited to those individuals.
“They will consider any new potential hire for the program,” Sourbier said.
Last week, the Waynesboro Borough Council debated whether to submit the COPS application. Some council members expressed frustration about losing out on the funding when applying previously.
The probability of receiving grant funding is not good, Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.
Waynesboro has lost out to Pennsylvania’s more urban areas previously, Mayor Richard Starliper said.
The council voted 3-2 last Wednesday when deciding whether to proceed with the application. Council members Jason Stains, Wayne Driscoll and Mike Cermak voted to move forward with it, while council members Darrel Potts and Benjamin Greenawalt voted against doing so. Councilman Craig Newcomer was absent from the meeting.
Some council members suggested the police chief should apply, then the council can decide later whether to accept the grant. Solicitor Sam Wiser cautioned that could affect whether future applications are approved.