Douglas to add five new officers
MINDEN – Douglas County will add five new police officers in 2000 thanks to a windfall of federal money.
A grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice this week will dole out $375,000 – $25,000 a year for each officer for three years – to pay for the additional personnel.
The grant, awarded as part of the department’s Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, program, is designed to give the county a three-year start. Then the county will be responsible for funding those positions through traditional means, said Sheriff’s Lt. Ross Chichester.
The addition means Douglas patrols will jump from 44 deputies to 49.
“The commission has been real involved with the funding, so I don’t see any real problem with the budgets,” he said.
Chichester predicted revenue from the county’s redevelopment district, mostly from Target and Home Depot stores, would be used for county law enforcement.
Despite a decline in quality applicants for law enforcement positions around the country, Chichester said Douglas will be ready to hire when the paperwork clears Washington bureaucracy.
“We’ve done this before and we have applicants ready to fill those positions,” he said. “We traditionally do testing once or twice a year.”
The specific function of additional deputies has not been determined, but Chichester said they will likely be on patrol duty. The number of Douglas deputies at the Tahoe substation is determined daily. One or two deputies a day will be added to that roster, he said.
Since its inception, the COPS program has placed 100,000 new law enforcement officers throughout the country. President Bill Clinton and members of Congress hope to extend the program with 30,000 more officers.