LONG BRANCH: The city police department will be able hire five officers thanks to a $625,000 grant from the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program.
Asbury Park will also receive $750,000 to hire six police officers through the COPS program, according to Congressman Frank Pallone.
"Safety is essential to the future growth and success of our communities, and I believe that having these additional officers in Asbury Park and Long Branch will make a significant difference," Pallone said in a release. "This is a wise investment that will help the Asbury Park and Long Branch Police Departments add or retain the manpower needed to fight crime more effectively and keep our streets safe."
The grants go directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts. It is unclear at this time whether previous officers will be rehired or new ones will be appointed in Long Branch.
The 2014 grants fund 75 percent of the approved entry-level salaries and benefits for three years for newly-hired, full-time sworn officer positions or for rehired officers who have been laid off, or are scheduled to be laid off, as a result of local budget cuts.