OGDEN -- The Ogden Police Department has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant over three years to hire seven new officers.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will pay wages and benefits for the police officers, who may be hired starting Jan. 1, said Tracy Probert, the city's assistant finance manager.
The only stipulation to receiving the funds is that the city must continue to employ the officers for at least one year after the grant expires in 2013, he said.
The city had planned to use funds from its fiscal 2011 budget to hire seven officers but was unable to include the money in the budget, said John Arrington, city finance manager.
The starting salary for entry-level officers is $38,400. Police Chief Jon Greiner said the new officers will be assigned to the department's uniformed division.
The police department has 123 budgeted positions and 10 vacancies.
It has not been determined whether the grant will be affected by an administrative law judge's ruling that Greiner violated the federal Hatch Act when he ran for state Senate in 2006, said Gary Williams, the city's attorney.
Ogden may have to forfeit about $215,000 in federal grants, equal to about two years of Greiner's salary.
The city has appealed the ruling to the federal Merit Systems Protection Board and awaits a decision.