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Federal grant will be used for police overtime

October 23, 1998

A $70,683 federal grant awarded to the Hagerstown Police Department will be used for overtime.

Hagerstown Police Chief Dale Jones said the money, which was announced Thursday by U.S. Sens. Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski, will be used to pay for different enforcement initiatives in the department such as drugs, speeding and graffiti.

Earlier this year, city officials said police overtime costs for fiscal year 1998 could push the budget over $900,000. But Jones said Friday that figure actually came in at $800,212.

Jones said in July he placed caps on the department's different divisions' overtime spending in an effort to meet the $550,000 budget, which he said could be difficult.

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"We will now ask council to raise the budget to $620,000 to reflect this grant so we won't automatically go over budget," Jones said.

He said the grant money will give the department an important cushion for running special operations.

But court time and investigations were the top two reasons for overtime in the last fiscal year, Jones said. Court time cost the city $193,150 in overtime and investigations totaled $138,467 in overtime.

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