Thursday - February 8, 2018 4:01 am

Council to vote on grant for two new Neighborhood cops; mayor plans to fund positions once grant runs out

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La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat hopes for some commitments from the city council tonight.

The council is set to approve accepting a $250,000 grant from the feds going to the police department to pay for two more Neighborhood Resource Officers (NROs).

The city has to come up with $109,077 in matching funds but Kabat doesn't think that will be a problem.

"I'm very confident with our partners, that we're going to have the local funding - by hook or by crook - because it's too important of an opportunity to pass by," Kabat said.

The three-year grant requires the city to keep and fund the two new officers for one year after the grant runs out.

Kabat fully intends for those positions to be permanent even after that.

"By year four we really have to have our budget and our tax levy worked out so they become part of the operating budget for the police department," Kabat said.

The two officers would bring to eight the total of Neighborhood Resource Officers in La Crosse.

"The success that we have witnessed with those six officers and the work that they do and relationships they've built have been absolutely phenomenal," Kabat said of the current NROs.

The new officers would get stationed in the Powell-poage-Hamilton neighborhood.

A designed growth in policing is in response to a recent survey, asking reasons why not to live in La Crosse.

"Three top answers were the condition of neighborhoods, crime and taxes," Kabat said. "And we are working on all three of those.

"Crime, especially, is important because without safety and security, nobody's going to make an investment in their home or a neighborhood."

 

Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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