MADISON — The town will be accepting a federal grant to hire a new patrol officer for the town’s police force.

The COPS — Community Oriented Policing Service — grant program is a $125,000 award aimed at hiring recently discharged military veterans.

The decision to apply to the grant came in 2010, shortly after the town voted to cut the salary and benefits of an officer from the town budget.

At the annual Town Meeting in June the town authorized the board to accept the grant.

The grant was awarded in July, but has been under discussion by the board.

It will pay 75 percent of the cost of a starting salary and benefits of one officer over three years with the town making up the remainder. The town would pay the entire cost for the fourth year of the grant contract.

“That amount could differ based on who we hire,” said Police Chief Barry Moores. “It would depend on if we hire someone with experience or someone who just came from the academy.”

Military veterans with at least six months of active-duty service since Sept. 11, 2001, are eligible.

Madison has four full-time police officers. Moores said it is within the town’s budget to hire another officer so the grant would make it possible for there to be six. He said that right now the police force could use more officers.

“Sometimes we only have one officer on call,” he said. “We’re not staffed like some other police agencies that have three or four officers.”

This is the second time the town has accepted the federal COPS grant. The first was is 2004.

Town manager Dana Berry said the grant in Madison is one of three in the state.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

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