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Grant to pay for 3 new police officers
$437,775 will pay for officers salaries, benefits for three years
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    Statesboro will be a little safer soon, with the hiring of three additional Statesboro Police officers, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
    Statesboro Police Chief Stan York announced the grant being awarded— in the amount of $437,775 — during Tuesday morning's Statesboro City Council meeting.
    Capt. Wendell Turner wrote the grant and was "very instrumental" in the department's receiving the funds, York said.
    The grant will fund three new officers for three years, and the city will only be required to fund a fourth year's salary for each officer, he said.
    During tough economic times and considering the City of Statesboro has experienced employee furloughs in attempts to save money, the grant is a blessing, he said.
    "Additional staffing means additional services provided by the police department," York said. "We will have more officers on  the street. We are (currently) understaffed, according to an assessment" conducted in recent years, he said.
    Having more officers on the streets will help better meet the needs of citizens, he said.
        The money is part of the government's stimulus plan, and comes from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), York said.
      According to Internet Web site, over 350 police and law enforcement agencies across the state have received more  than $169,635,756 in funds to add over 2,465 officers and deputies.
   Turner was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

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