Nick McWilliams reporting – Uhrichsville Police are hoping to hire an officer through a Department of Justice grant.

Chief Vince Beal says that the grants are only open for application for a limited time, but up to 75 percent of the wages and benefits of an officer hired under the program.

With call numbers rising, Beal says that now is the time to take advantage of the potential funding.

“We need officers. The reason our arrests are actually up is because we had nine officers and we were being active. It’s just a lot harder when you drop our numbers.”

Current felony charges for Uhrichsville have already exceeded totals from 2016 and 2017 this year.

The grant process was closed for a period of time due to pending lawsuits, but is expected to reopen before December, which is when money is expected to be awarded to departments who are selected.

Mayor Rick Dorland, a long-time officer, says that with the deadline approaching issues might arise with the DOJ and paperwork submitted on time, but he feels the same as Beal.

“It may extend into next year, but, it’s worthwhile. It puts boots on the ground and we definitely need the additional help. Our workload, call volume is up. You heard chief say that today, they had three domestics right in a row.”

Wage and benefits will be paid towards a new hire, but not a current officer.

If city council accepts Beal’s request, the department will have 60 days to complete all necessary paperwork for consideration.

A finance committee meeting is scheduled for September 11th, where the application will be taken into consideration.

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