Elizabeth City officials want to hire another police officer to combat gun violence and gangs, and they’re hoping a three-year, more than $100,000 federal grant will help them do that.
Last week, the city’s finance committee recommended the city seek a U.S. Department of Justice “Community Police Oriented Services” grant that could match the costs of hiring another officer. The city council is set consider sending the grant tonight.
City Manager Rich Olson reported that’d take the Elizabeth City Police Department from 59 sworn officers to 60. The grant would cover 75 percent of the cost of hiring the officer up to a total of $125,000, with the city picking up the remaining 25 percent. Olson said the ECPD gets enough calls for service to justify the position. The COPS program would require the city keep the position for at least a fourth year and pay the officer with only local funds. Olson recommends keeping the position permanently.
According to a city memo, an entry-level ECPD officer is paid $35,834 annually plus $12,542 in benefits, equating to total compensation over three years of $145,125. If the grant covers up to 75 percent of that, the city would have to come up with $36,281 over that time.
Olson noted the ECPD is also hoping to win $200,000 through a Governor’s Highway Safety Grant for two new officers, new patrol vehicles and other equipment. Those officers would have to be assigned to traffic patrols, and the grant would only pay for their salaries for their first year; the city would also like to retain those officers permanently. Olson said he’s expecting to receive a grant decision next month.