WINSLOW — A new full-time patrol officer is set to join the ranks of the Winslow Police Department after the town accepted a $125,000 federal grant to partially fund the position.

Town Council members voted 5-2 Monday night to accept the money through the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, program.

The grant will pay for 75 percent of a full-time officer for the next three years, but the town is responsible for some of the costs. The overall cost to the town over the next three years will be $82,000. The grant requires the town to keep the officer for at least one more year after the grant expires. According to department projections, that cost to the town for the fourth year could be about $75,000.

Councilors Ray Caron and Jerry Quirion voted against accepting the grant Monday. Neither councilor could be reached Tuesday for comment.

Police Chief Shawn O’Leary said Tuesday that recent events such as large-scale brawls on Silver and Temple streets in Waterville in the last month and the murder-suicide that left four people dead in Oakland last week showed the need for another officer on his force.

“They felt it was very necessary,” O’Leary said. “I am very grateful for them to be so proactive and supportive of the agency.”

Officer Dale Martin, who works for the department part time, will be given the full-time position and will start work early next year after he completes training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.

The Winslow Police Department has 10 full-time officers, including a chief, a detective and a school resource officer whose jobs are not patrol positions.

In his budget request for this fiscal year, O’Leary asked for an additional $131,000 to hire two full-time officers. Instead, the council increased the police budget by $83,000, enough to hire a new sergeant and pay for additional part-time reserve officers.

O’Leary has said that his officers often face dangerous and violent situations involving domestic violence, illegal drugs and mental health problems. The new officer’s position will make more patrol coverage available from Wednesday to Saturday, when the department receives a high number of calls for service, O’Leary told town councilors in September.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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