WACO, Texas — Waco police are now able to hire twelve officers thanks to a federal grant.
With a new $1.5 million grant, they also have some room to expand on new areas of outreach.
“These officers are just going to help us of course reduce crime but also encourage that community policing as well,” Waco Police PIO Cierra Shipley said.
They were also granted an additional $1.6 million by the Waco City Council to assist in these plans.
These officers are not just new additions. They are being brought in to help continue the strengthening of the bond between the community and the police.
“Focusing in with the community, engaging in the community a little bit more,” she said. “Doing things like we have been with our big events, but maybe doing those on smaller scale with certain individual, you know, units and things like that.”
“We have a lot more units coming in. We’ve got a new neighborhood engagement unit that’s going to be starting at the department,” she said. “And so along with that with these officers, we’re just able to expand on those future programs more.”
The hiring process will begin in the new year but what is Waco police looking for in its new officers?
“We look for a lot of integrity and we look for a lot of heart and we look for a lot of want to help the community and help Waco,” she said. “Being a police officer, you have to love the community of Waco. You can’t just say, oh, I just want to be a cop, to be a cop. It takes a lot of heart to want to help someone at their lowest moments in their life.”
Shipley finished by explaining that with the community outreach, they want Waco citizens to feel comfortable around those protecting them and even become their friends.