Danville police adding to their department

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DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – Police departments across the country are seeing officers leave at a high rate. Many aren’t seeing new people apply for those open positions, but for Danville, it’s somewhat opposite.

“We’ve hired more than 20 officers since I’ve been here,” Rickey Williams Jr., the Mayor, said.

He was elected in November of 2018. Since then, he said the police department has grown, and it continues to do so.

“Public safety, and keeping people safe, and improving quality of life, I think is probably the most important job of government. So, we want to take all of the steps we can to make sure we do that,” he said.

That’s partly because they are 1 of 9 cities in Illinois awarded the COPS grant. That stands for Community Oriented Policing Services. With that grant, Williams said they can hire 6 new officers.

“Adding these officers and training them to be on the streets, and to have some of the more routine duties that will help free up some of our more senior officers to tackle some of our bigger things that we’re just tired of in our community,” he said.

That includes a drug task force, a division focused on domestic violence, and a community liaison. The new hires have to go through several weeks of training. Williams said he hopes to hire more officers in the spring or summer for the next round of training.

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