Hampton Police to hire new officer

By Jason A. Smith


Hampton Police will soon have additional presence on the streets, as a result of a federal grant.

The department received approval Tuesday from the Hampton City Council, to accept $168,610 from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to Police Capt. Derrick Austin.

The funds, he said, are coming to Hampton in the form of a community-oriented police services grant.

"The money is for the salary, benefits and uniform for one patrolman," said Austin. He added that the federal money will fund those expenses for the new officer for a period of three years.

The Hampton Police Department employs 18 officers, 13 of whom are on patrol in the city, according the captain.

"We'll use the officer for community-oriented policing duties," said Austin. It allows us to have an extra officer on patrol, and it gives us the funding we need to do more ... things that we were unable to do with our manpower."

Police department leaders have been aware of their grant approval for more than a month, Chief Rad Porter said. "We were awarded the grant in September, but we had to wait until it was approved by the council," he said.

Capt. Austin said, with the grant's approval, the department can begin the hiring process.

He said he is hopeful the new officer will be on the road within a month.