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Four new officers sought for HotSpots program

September 14, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

A request for four new Hagerstown police officers is the highlight of a draft grant application for next year's Maryland HotSpot program, which is funding more than $100,000 in crime-fighting and community building programs in Hagerstown this year.

City Police Lt. Margaret Kline and Hagerstown HotSpot Coordinator Carolyn Brooks presented Hagerstown's Mayor and City Council with a portion of the grant request on Tuesday.

Four new officers would cost about $37,000 each for their equipment and annual salaries.

The draft grant application included requests for money to pay for a drug dog, buy a "pole cam video surveillance system" video camera and other equipment, and purchase cellular telephones for citizens involved in neighborhood patrols.

The council would have to approve any portions of the grant application that would require the city to provide matching funds.

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Councilman J. Wallace McClure said they should apply for funds to remove some public telephones, which McClure said attract drug dealers because the phones help them with their drug dealing.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said instead of applying for funding for four new officers, they should consider applying for money to pay overtime costs for existing police officers.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner asked how much four additional officers would cost the city once they have to put up matching funds for them and once the grant expires.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said he would get back to the council with more information on the eventual cost of police officers hired with grant money.

The grant application is due to the state Sept. 27, Kline said.

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