ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — With several officers set to retire in the coming months, the Elmira Police Department has been approved by the city council to apply for a grant that, if accepted, will help supply the department with more manpower.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s website, The Fiscal Year 2022 COPS Hiring Program (CHP) is a competitive grant program designed to provide funding directly to law enforcement agencies to hire and/or rehire additional career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

If the City is awarded a grant through COPS, the money will be used to fund five police officers above the current manpower totals over a three-year period. The application will seek funding in the amount of $1,200,000.

Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz talked about the grant and thanked the council for the approval to move forward in the application process. Alvernaz says that the Department has five retirements set for the next few months. With depleted staff, the Department is looking for ways to gain more Police Officers.

“There are not many grants available for manpower, this is one the ones that can actually help to support a department, mostly those that are struggling with increased crime rates and manpower shortages.”

“With the uptick in violence in the past year and a half, many of the complaints around the community are that the public would like to see a bigger push with more of a police presence to quell some of this violence.”

Alvernaz says that the department is looking to hire up to 10 police officers. The department is also actively seeking recruitment from other agencies through lateral transfers. If you are interested in applying, applicant resources are available at the City of Elmira’s website.