Canton receives $821,489 federal grant to hire cops

Canton Repository

CANTON —The city has been awarded a $821,489 federal grant to hire seven police officers who are post-Sept. 11 military veterans.

The COPS 2012 Hiring Program grant also could be used to prevent layoffs or rehire laid off officers. Canton’s share of the national grant program is spread over three years — roughly $274,000 a year. The program also is referred to as the “Vets to Cops” grant.

The announcement is a good dose of financial news for the city budget. However, Mayor William J. Healy II met the development with tempered enthusiasm Monday.

For one, the mayor noted the city must provide a 25 percent match to receive the grant, at a time when the city faces a roughly $4 million general-fund deficit next year.

Without a way to fill the projected budget shortfall in 2013, Healy has said he would be forced to lay off 80 to 100 police officers and firefighters.

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