Jeffersonville to hire 3 additional officers - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Jeffersonville to hire 3 additional officers

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Jeffersonville Police Chief Chris Grimm Jeffersonville Police Chief Chris Grimm

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – City officials reached a compromise with police concerning the number of officers versus the amount of funds Monday night.

During the meeting Jeffersonville Police Chief Chris Grimm made the case to hire more officers using a portion of the city's $5 million budget surplus. "What better way to spend it than on public safety?" He asked council members.

Grimm followed his question by requesting the council to hire five new officers every year for the next five years. He said he wants the added officers, in part, to keep up with the thousands of new visitors coming to Jeffersonville since the Big Four Bridge opened.

"I think they're obligated to the citizens of this community to hire these officers," Grimm said.

The cost? About $120,000 per officer, but that includes salary, benefits and equipment.

One council member complained about the Grimm's plan would tap into city savings.

District 6 Councilman Bryan Glover fired back. "The residents that are paying taxes deserve the protection that they pay for and I agree when we have a surplus," he said, "We're not here to save money in the bank we're here to provide services for the residents who pay for it."

The reason people need to feel safe may be best explained by a photographer and gun toting southern Indiana resident Vanessa Coulter. Coulter, who's licensed to carry a weapon, showed us her 9mm. She said of more people crossing the Big Four to visit downtown Jeffersonville, "I think it will be great because, you know, there's been issues."

No matter how isolated those issues may be, the violence on March 22 that began on the Louisville Waterfront and carried over to the pedestrian bridge is hard for some folks to get out of their mind.

Grimm said the money would hopefully come from a federal grant. Based on his staff of 75 officers, Jeffersonville can only apply for three officers this year. Grant or not, council members took a vote and agreed to hire those three officers for now.

"I'm disappointed, but also encouraged," Grimm said about the decision.

If the Grimm does get the grant money, he hopes to hire all five of the officers he originally asked for.

Council members and the chief will crunch the numbers in a workshop. A date for the workshop has not been scheduled.

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