MERRILLVILLE | The Merrillville Police Department is in the midst of replenishing its force, department officials said.
Police Chief Joseph Petruch said the town will swear in at least four new officers at the Town Council's July 23 meeting.
The department is working to hire a fifth person who could be sworn in that night as well, Petruch said.
Merrillville currently has 45 officers. The personnel sworn in next week will replace officers who have left the department, Petruch said.
After the new officers are sworn in, the town hopes it can continue to increase police staffing.
Merrillville submitted an application for a Community Oriented Policing Services grant to obtain funding to hire an additional two officers, Petruch said. The federal grant would pay the salaries of those two people for three years, he said.
The Community Oriented Policing Services office expects to announce grant recipients by Sept. 30, according to its website. If Merrillville's application is successful, one of the people hired would be a school resource officer, Petruch said.
The Police Department received nearly $600,000 in 2009 through the Community Oriented Policing Services grant program. Those funds paid the salaries of three officers for three years, police said.