HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Hagerstown’s police chief wants to hire five new police officers to combat gun violence and gang activity downtown.

The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown reported Wednesday that Chief Mark Holtzman is seeking a Justice Department grant to help fund the five new officers. If they are hired, the size of the police force assigned to downtown would double.

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Holtzman briefed the City Council about his plans last week. He says he was concerned that the city had five homicides last year.

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Holtzman says the federal funds would pay up to 75 percent of the cost of the five officers for three years. The city would have to pay for the fourth year, at a cost of about $355,000. The city’s share for the first three years would be about $234,000.
Information from: The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Md., http://www.herald-mail.com

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