Despite objections from the police chief and city manager, the City Council voted Tuesday night to pursue a state grant that will allow the Police Department to add two officers and a sergeant to its traffic bureau.
If the request to the state Office of Traffic Safety is approved, the traffic bureau will grow to 11 motorcycle officers--nearly triple its size in June, 1984, when the bureau had just four officers.
The city applied in March for a state grant for six new traffic employees--five motorcycle officers and one motorcycle sergeant. The request was reduced to two officers and a sergeant, however, after the City Council voted during budget talks last summer to hire three new traffic officers on its own.
The grant, which is expected to be awarded this week, will cover salaries for the two officers and sergeant during the first year, half of the salaries during the second year, and nothing after that. City Manager Tim Casey said the city will be required to keep the three positions after the second year at its own expense--about $208,000 annually, he said.