Hoping for federal funding for an additional police officer, the Camarillo City Council has authorized city staff to pursue a special three-year grant offered by the U.S. Justice Department.
Voting unanimously Wednesday, the council gave Ventura Sheriff's Cmdr. Ray Abbott the go-ahead to apply for the federal Cops Ahead grant program, part of the $30-billion 1994 Crime Bill. Already, the Justice Department has declared Camarillo and five other Ventura County communities eligible for a total of 15 officers. Camarillo could receive $25,000 each year for one officer.
Abbott said he was pleased by the council's decision, but cautioned that the grant will pay only a portion of one officer's total costs--estimated to be about $100,000 annually. That price includes salary, benefits, equipment, insurance and other expenses. The city would have to pick up remaining costs.
"Given the growth and development we've seen in the city last year and what is scheduled to come on-line this year, we feel we can justify the addition of a new officer," Abbott said.
The city contracts with the Ventura County Sheriff's Department for police services.