Phenix City to apply for grant for more police officers

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - Columbus is using a special sales tax to add 100 new officers.   Now Phenix City officials want to adding more members to their force, but in a different way.

The police department is in the process of applying for the COPS Hiring and Recovery Program Grant.  City councilors voted unanimously Tuesday morning to apply for the federal aid from stimulus funds.

  Interim Police Chief Ray Smith say he wants to add at least eight new officers to the force.  "The eight officers we plan on adding will be a great benefit to our department. 

The grant money will pay 100% of the starting salary as well as benefits for the first three years.  This could be a big help in getting us past the expensive cost of putting officers to work," said Smith.

The stimulus money would pay for the grant for three years and then the city will have to pick up the tab the fourth year.