The City of Akron will look to use federal funds to hire 12 new police officers with military backgrounds to help patrol the streets.
Public Safety Chair and Ward 9 Councilman Mike Freeman says $1.5 million from the U.S Department of Justice would be used to bring in the officers.
"The approximately 12 new officers hired under the grant must be veterans that served in active duty on or after September of 2001," Freeman said.
Akron City Council unanimously voted on the agreement between the city and the Federal Government to implement veterans into the police force through a grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
Akron Councilman Mike Freeman by Akron NewsNow
The city says once the civil service exams are given, those personnel, some of whom have served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan will have an opportunity to obtain a full-time job with benefits once they return to the States.
Freeman says the program is an excellent way of showing the veterans appreciation for their service to our country.
"We just think it's a good way to honor the veterans and show them we appreciate this," Freeman explained.
"The city voted on something like this a few years ago and it went very well, and we just look forward to seeing these new hires come on."
The councilman says that having these veterans, who are already trained in conflict resolution and other disciplines will be ready to handle the rigors of being an Akron police officer once they are hired.
In June, U.S Senator Sherrod Brown helped the city secure the grant to bring the veterans to the workforce and have them serve the community as members of the APD.
The City of Akron will be receiving federal funds to hire 12 recently-returned military veterans as new law enforcement officers.
Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic says this grant provides the city an opportunity to hire qualified individuals when numbers are down.
"We're trying to make the best of this situation and get more officers out on the street and less of them sitting in the offices," Plusquellic stated.
"We'll do everything we can to make this grant work for us and hire officers as best we can despite the budget restrictions we have."
The U.S Department of Justice awarded the city $1.5 million to hire the would-be officers.
City Council President Marco Sommerville says the money will put more officers on the street to help combat the violence that has been plaguing Akron in recent months.
City Council President Marco Sommerville and Mayor Don Plusquellic by Akron NewsNow
Both President Sommerville and Mayor Plusquellic thanked US. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) for his efforts in securing the grant to keep Akron's streets safer.
"We're trying to increase the number of policemen and women on the street and this is the first wave of doing that."
Sommerville says that whenever you hire a veteran, you will be getting someone who is accountable and prepared for all types of situations.
"These are individuals that will be ready to serve as police officers," Sommerville stated.
"They already have knowledge of firearms, conflict control and these are the types of people you need in your police department, and so we're very excited about this happening."
Through the "Vets to COPS" program, requires that new officers hired under the grant must be veterans that served in active duty for at least 180 days, any part of which occurred on or after September 11, 2001.
Plusquellic said hiring veterans was a plus for the APD.
"I'm happy that we have an opportunity to give at least 12 people the recognition and the opportunity to have a full-time career here."
The newly-aquired funds will provide 75 percent of the funding for salaries and benefits for three years for newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions, or for rehired officers who have been laid off, or are scheduled to be laid off in the future.
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