The Hagerstown City Council plans to discuss today using grant money to fund a police officer who would head Hagerstown's anti-gang unit, a position that would be paid for with money from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Police Chief Arthur Smith said.
The U.S. Attorney's Office distributed $1.5 million last month across Maryland to combat gang activity, said Marcy Murphy, a U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman. Of that amount, Washington County received about $111,920, she said.
Smith said Hagerstown will get roughly half - about $55,000 - of Washington County's share of the grant to pay the anti-gang unit officer's salary and benefits for 18 months. The remainder of the grant is earmarked to fund education programs that are focused on preventing gang activity in other parts of the county, he said.