Cumberland, Yarmouth police receive grants

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Police departments in Cumberland and Yarmouth are among four in the state receiving a total of $625,000 in grants, U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins announced.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services awarded the grants through the COPS Hiring Program. Program funding is meant to help bolster hiring at local law enforcement agencies.

The Cumberland and Yarmouth departments will each receive $125,000, funding for one officer each.

“These funds will greatly help to improve Maine’s ability to address criminal justice and public safety issues and help make communities around the state safer,” Maine’s Republican senators said in a joint statement.

The money will pay for 75 percent of approved salary and benefits for entry-level officer jobs for a three-year period. The funds can also be used to rehire officers who have been laid off, or who are going to be laid off, due to budget cuts.