Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)By Kevin Killeen

CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – On the verge of the Trump-era, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar is hoping for a few kind words for police out of Washington.

Belmar’s time as chief has included the Ferguson riots, federal investigations of police tactics and a national backlash of violence against police.

“When we see negative rhetoric come out, especially from the highest levels of our government, I think it can be damaging as far as relationships between law enforcement and the community,” Belmar said.

Apart from talk, Belmar hopes the Trump Administration comes up with more money for police.

What he wants is a revival of the Cops Program, which provided federal grants to communities to hire more police in the 1990s.

“It would give police chiefs the ability to hire additional officers from a federal funding stream,” Belmar said. “And of course, we would make the promise to retain those officers … down the road when those grants expire.”

Right now, Belmar is hoping to hire 120 more officers if county voters approve a sales tax hike on the April ballot.

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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