PUBLIC SAFETY : Hawthorne to Use Federal Grant to Hire 6 More Officers

The city of Hawthorne has won a federal grant to hire six police officers.

The Police Department will receive $532,980 over the next three years to help expand its 98-member force. The new officers will be on duty in six to eight months, officials said.

The expansion will help add bicycle patrols and other programs designed to bring police closer to the community, Chief Stephen R. Port said.

At the end of the grant period, the city will be responsible for paying the officers. The annual cost is expected to be about $500,000, Port said.

Federal officials said Hawthorne received the grant because it showed a high need for additional police.

The number of serious crimes in the city increased 40% from 1988 to 1993, according to FBI statistics. But tight budgets and the defeat of ballot measures to pay for more police have thwarted attempts to add officers.

Hawthorne is one of 250 agencies nationwide to receive a grant under the Department of Justice program. More than 2,700 local governments applied for the grants.

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