Four new officers to be hired via grant

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 3, 2009

Salaries for four Vicksburg police officers will be paid via a federal grant approved by the U.S Department of Justice, Office of the Community-Oriented Policing Services.

The grant from COPS was in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the $787 billion federal stimulus legislation. It says Vicksburg, one of 20 state agencies, will receive $508,364 to hire new officers, in addition to 70 officers who are already on the force.

Marcia Weaver, who prepares grants in the city’s planning department, said the money will pay the salaries and benefits of the four officers for three years and the city’s budget will take over their pay and benefits once the grant expires.

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“We decided on a reasonable number of officers to hire for the city to absorb once the grant expires,” she said.

The grant awarded was based on entry level salaries and a benefits package that includes health, life and unemployment insurance and vacation, holiday and sick pay.

Police Chief Walter Armstrong said the target number of officers to have on the force is set at 85, and he anticipates to reach that number of officers by the end of the year.

Currently, there are six officers who are waiting to enter the police academy, a 10-week course.

Across Mississippi, departments received more than $5 million for 20 state agencies to hire 41 more officers.

The Anguilla Police Department will receive $89,476 to hire an additional officer.

Weaver also announced that the city was approved for the Justice Assistance Grant Recovery for $265,607, which the city will split evenly with Warren County to purchase equipment.

The COPS program was begun by former President Bill Clinton with the goal of adding 1 million certified officers nationwide.


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at