HERMISTON – The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Community Policing Services is awarding $139 million to law enforcement agencies across the nation to allow them to hire more than a thousand additional full-time law enforcement professionals. Three cities in Oregon got funding, and one of them is Hermiston.
Police Chief Jason Edmiston says the $125,000 will help to pay for hiring a community services officer.
“We need a sworn officer that can really assist with getting our face out there, getting our message out there, and – more importantly – listening to what the community wants,” he said.
This will be a new position within the Hermiston Police Department and Edmiston said it’s an important step forward in working with HPD’s partners, since the community has been generally supportive of the department.
“This is step one,” he said. “We’ve been incredibly remiss about the last five or six years with regard to our attendance at various meetings. We have several partnerships out there and we don’t have a presence at the table. This grant was written for us to actually have a community services officer.”
The other Oregon agencies receiving grants are the city of John Day and Reedsport.