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Charlotte Area News

Charlotte city council to vote to add 75 police officers

Charlotte City Council will vote tonight to accept $8.5 million in federal stimulus money to hire 50 new police officers. And council is expected to give the go ahead tonight to hire another 75 officers. WFAE's Lisa Miller has more: City officials had initially asked Washington for 150 police officers. But in case they didn't get their wish, during budget season city council designated extra money for road re-surfacing with the thought that the city could tap that money to hire extra officers. City council is voting on a measure tonight to use about $1.5 million of that money to hire another 75 police officers this year. Another $2.5 million would come from the city's reserves. Council member Warren Cooksey plans to vote for the city-funded positions. "Because that was the intent of the money all along it won't be a problem voting to do that to fund police officers locally, which is what I wanted to do from the beginning," says Cooksey. Cooksey was the only council member to vote against requesting the stimulus money. He said he did so because he opposes stimulus money on principle. Council is also scheduled to accept the stimulus money for the 50 police officers at tonight's meeting. Charlotte will receive $8.5 million dollars from the federal government over three years to pay for the salaries and benefits of those officers. After that, the city must step up and take over the payments.