Thanks to federal dollars, New Haven will soon have 22 more police officers on the beat.
At a Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday night, aldermen voted unanimously to accept a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department to hire more police officers. The grant will pay the salaries and benefits of 22 additional officers for a period of three years with the condition that the city keep them on the police force for at least an additional year at its own expense.
Despite the unanimous vote, some aldermen seized on the matter to re-air their grievances towards the city’s decision to lay off 16 police officers in a series of budget cuts in February.
While the city has rehired six of the officers it laid off, the layoffs combined with a high number of officers eligible for retirement to put the police department at risk of being short-staffed, Ward 12 Alderman Gerald Antunes, a former New Haven police officer, said.
“This grant money is good for taxpayers’ pocketbooks, hopefully we can start to hire more cops on our own soon,” he said.