By DON AINES
Staff Writer, Martinsburg
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The crime rate is up in Berkeley County, but the Berkeley County Commission has to decide whether it can afford to accept a federal grant to add to more deputies.
The county sheroff's department applied for a Community-Oriented Policing Service, or COPS, grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Sheriff Ron Jones learned a few weeks ago that the $143,000 grant has been approved.
One hitch is that the county would have to provide a 25 percent match on the three-year grant, about $16,000 a year. Another is similar to the one that's arising from a grant the county received a few years ago to hire three deputies. That grant is about to run out, meaning the county will have to assume the full cost of those positions.