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Feds Giving Columbus $12.7 Million to Hire 50 Police Officers

The U.S. Government is sending $12.7 million to Columbus so the city can hire 50 police officers. Vice President Joe Biden an US Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement Tuesday in Washington. The money is part of $1 billion in stimulus grants The White House is handing out to law enforcement agencies across the country. The grants will fund 4,699 officers at 1,046 agencies around the country.

The grants will pay the salaries and benefits for the officers for three years. Columbus and the other agencies must agree to pay the officers for a fourth year.

The news comes one week before Columbus voters decide a request to increase the city's income tax. City officials say the tax increase is needed in part to avoid the layoffs of 297 police officers.

The current grant is in addition to federal money Columbus received earlier this year to save the jobs of a police recruiting class.