In this April 26, 2017 file photograph, a Newark, N.J. police officer displays how a body cam is worn during a news conference in Newark. Credit: Julio Cortez / AP

The Brewer Police Department has been granted funding to hire a uniformed patrol officer with help from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Brewer City Council voted Tuesday to accept the $125,000 grant, the maximum amount allowed under the DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Hiring Program. Last year, 13 Maine police departments received a total of $2 million from the COPS Hiring Program, which is a competitive program designed to give money to local police agencies looking to hire more officers and bolster their community policing tactics.

Brewer police Chief Jason Moffitt said that the grant would cover half of the new officer’s salary and benefits for three years. The officer has already been hired.

 

“This is a great way to augment the force while minimizing the impact on taxpayers,” he said.

The department applied for the funding last fall. The Brewer Police Department currently employs 20 full-time officers.

Across the state, Maine police departments have struggled to hire and retain officers. The number of cops on the beat in Maine dropped 6 percent between 2015 and 2020 according to data from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.