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Ventura County Focus | THOUSAND OAKS

City Awarded Funds for 2 Police Officers

January 16, 1998|LISA FERNANDEZ

The city was awarded $150,000 in federal grant money to pay for two new police officers, according to Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks).

The money comes from a 2-year-old Justice Department fund called the Community Oriented Policing Service.

"The grants to cities help pay the cost of putting more police officers on the streets," Sherman said Wednesday from Washington. "And they're particularly anxious to see them on the street, as opposed to in the car."

The $150,000 must be split between two officers over three years. While the money is helpful, Sherman complained that the annual $25,000-a-year salary is more like a low-paying East Coast pay scale. Thousand Oaks, which is in Sherman's district, must find additional funding to make the officers' salaries more competitive, he said.

On the East Coast, departments typically chip in $8,000 to the federal grant money, bringing the officers' salaries up to $33,000 a year, Sherman said. But in California, salaries for police officers generally start at $50,000.

"The city might have to come up with an extra" $25,000, he said. But the grant money is still helpful, Sherman added.

"This is a good thing if you want more cops," he said. "But the city has to show they'll put in the rest."

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