DES MOINES, Iowa-- Police departments across the country and here in the metro are divvying up their share of millions of dollars to help make their communities safer places to live.
$119 million in grant money from the U.S. Justice Department was up for grabs to hire more officers. Two metro police forces made the list- Ankeny and Carlisle.
“I was a little in shock because there are so many agencies apply for that and we're a very small agency,” said Carlisle Police Chief Eric Spring.
The department includes seven, soon to be eight, full-time officers. Carlisle was awarded $125,000 to hire a School Resource Officer.
The COPS grants are designed to build stronger relationship between the community and law enforcement.
“We see this as a great opportunity to bridge this gap,” said Spring.
“I think it's good for our students to grow up and view police officers as partners and they're here to support,” said Carlisle Superintendent Bryce Amos.
The new SRO is expected to walk the halls sometime next year. The school district and police department are splitting the cost.
The Ankeny Police Department was awarded $375,000 over three years. Chief Gary Mikulec says the federal dollars will fund three officers dedicated to community engagement. The extra “boots on the ground” are needed in what is now the third fastest growing community in the country.