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Smyrna receives federal grant to hire police officer

Karl Malgiero
Delaware Public Media

The town of Smyrna receives federal funding through the U.S. Department of Justice to hire a police officer.

 “So it's a $125,000 grant to spend over three years which is basically used to hire a police officer that has to be spread out over three years which is roughly close to $45,000 a year," said Smyrna Mayor Robert Johnson.

This is part of a federal effort through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Smyrna was selected as one of 183 agencies throughout the country to split up $139 million.

About half of the agencies awarded grants will use the funding to focus on building legitimacy and trust between law enforcement and communities. Others will address violence and use it for other resources.

Johnson believes this federal grant will help.

"We're continuing to grow, and we need as many officers as we can get because we have a lot of area to cover unlike say like Wilmington which is a little more defined where we have a wider area,” said Johnson. "So, it's important to provide safety for our citizens."

Johnson did say the town was looking to hire more police officers outside of the grant, and he says this grant is for three years which means the town will have to budget money after that to keep the new officer.

In announcing the award for Smyrna, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss noted the town will be able to devote additional resources to educate the community about the pitfalls of substance use.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.