Maria Keena (@kmoxmaria)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Congressman Lacy Clay says a $1.87 million Department of Justice grant is being made available to hire 15 more St. Louis police officers.

The Huffington Post reported today that the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) made $107 million available to help nearly 200 agencies hire or retain 870 officers.

“As soon as we can get those officers hired and trained on the streets, they’ll be out there,” says St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson. “As you know, the academy process is about a 6-month process. It will take us a couple of months to hire and process.”

Dotson adds that they will pay over 3 years which is about 25 percent of the salary of the officers. The federal government will pay 75 percent.

Over 70 law enforcement agencies will receive $20 million in federal grants to help purchase and implement body cameras.

St. Louis was not listed as one of the selected cities to receive grant money for body cameras.

Clay says he will continue to pursue additional DOJ funding for more personnel, better training and support, and body cameras for all officers.

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