Federal grant will help fund additional Federal Way police officers

The city of Federal Way will hire five new police officers funded in part by a Department of Justice grant.

The Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program will provide $625,000 over a three-year period.

“As one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Washington — we grew over 3,000 people last year and were the fifth fastest growing city in the state — these positions will assist us in meeting the service demands in our community,” Police Chief Andy Hwang said.

The department is currently allocated 131 officers. The grant will bring the total to 136, which matches a pre-recession high, Mayor Jim Ferrell said. At one point, the department was down to 121 officers, he said.

“We have been attempting for well over a decade to get back up to that high-water mark,” he said.

The grant will help bring the city closer to the 140 or 141 officers Ferrell said he would like to have.

Three officers sworn in at the Nov. 21 City Council meeting brought the force to 126.

Hwang said the department plans to hire five more officers by the end of the year to bring the total to the allotted 131.

The department hopes to hire the additional five officers funded by the COPS grant as soon as possible, Hwang said.

The COPS grant does not cover the entire salary and benefits for the officers. Hwang estimated the city’s responsibility during the three years will be about $900,000.

The city has been awarded the grant in the past, Hwang said.

“We don’t get it every time we apply,” he said.

Federal Way was one of three departments in state to receive COPS grants this year. The other two were Moses Lake and Pasco.

Nationwide 1,111 agencies applied, and 179 received awards.

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Members of GFWC Sokico Women’s Club held a Bunco fundraiser and membership event July 21 Pantera Lago Clubhouse in Kent to raise money for a Federal Way K-9 cop. Sokico members provided food, beverages, prizes and a GFWC program with visual poster boards for 25 guests - plus special guest and speaker Officer Kyle Buchanan of the Federal Way Police Department and his K-9 officer Kaiser. Kaiser was the hit of the event with his favorite toy ball on a leather tether, as he paced around the room for all to pet and play. Officer Buchanan displayed some training techniques with Kaiser and answered many questions from the guests. The funds raised will purchase a new Storm Patrol swat vest for the newest K-9 officer on the Federal Way Police Department, Vader, who recently turned 2 years old and is ready to be fitted for his new vest. To date, the club has raised $1,200 toward the purchase of Vader’s vest. Donations are welcome. Contact Linda Butcher at 253-927-6636 or ibslinda@comcast.net.
                                Storm patrol: Members of GFWC Sokico Women’s Club held a Bunco fundraiser and membership event July 21 at Pantera Lago Clubhouse in Kent.Sokico members provided food, beverages, prizes and a GFWC program with visual poster boards, for 25 guests plus special guest and speaker, Officer Kyle Buchanan of the Federal Way Police Department and his K9 officer Kaiser. Kaiser was the hit of the event with his favorite toy ball on a leather tether, as he paced around the room for all to pet and play. Officer Buchanan displayed some training techniques with Kaiser and answered many questions from the interested and entertained guests. Then it was on to the business of playing Bunco, and awarding the winning prizes. Door prizes were also given to the lucky names drawn. The funds raised will purchase a new Storm Patrol Swat Vest for the newest K9 officer on the Federal Way Police Force, Vader, who recently turned two years old and is ready to be fitted for his new vest. To date the club has raised $1,200 toward the purchase of Vader’s Vest, so if anyone feels so inclined to help us out with this project, we’d gladly appreciate your support. Contact Linda Butcher, 253-927-6636 or ibslinda@comcast.net for information on the project or the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.
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