The San Antonio City Council on Thursday voted to pursue a grant that could add 100 police officers next year through the federal stimulus package.
The grant is competitive, so there is no guarantee the city will receive the money, or get all of it, said City Councilman Justin Rodriguez.
“We may end up getting fewer officers,” he said.
The city will learn in September whether its request will be funded. The grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act could finance the officers for three years.
The grant is limited to community policing, so Police Chief William McManus has proposed assigning new hires to the San Antonio Fear Free Environment program. About 50 recruits could begin attending the police academy in December, officials said.
The city would be required to maintain the officers for 12 months after the grant expires at the end of 2013 — incurring a cost of about $11 million.
“Let’s hope that by 2013 we’re out of the recession and we’ll be in a better position financially to pick up these expenses,” said City Manager Sheryl Sculley.
City Budget Director Peter Zanoni suggested setting aside money over the next four years.
He said a single police officer costs the city roughly $100,000 a year in salary and benefits.
Councilman John Clamp urged Zanoni to begin thinking about longer-term funding.