The City of Olean's police force will reach deeper into the community and expand its use of manpower after two federal grants make their way into the municipal coffers.
A $250,000 award from the Justice Department means Police Chief Brian Donnelly will assign two veteran officers to the city's high school and middle school for four years.
They will be replaced by two new hires, Donnelly told aldermen Tuesday night at a committee meeting.
Another grant, for $72,498, will allow the department to hire civilians as dispatchers, freeing patrol officers for other duties. This will equal adding 2.9 officers to the force.
With the city's share of $24,166, the dispatchers program will cost $96,664 for one year. The funds were included in this year's budget, Mayor James P. Griffin said.
The Council will have to authorize the mayor to use the funds for both programs, and Olean City Schools also will have to take official action before the School Resource Officer Program can begin, Donnelly said.
The city is not required to contribute funds for the resource officers, and the school district has agreed to pay the program's full cost in the fourth year, Donnelly added.
"At the end of four years, there has to be a decision made. If the program is doing well and is what we hoped for, hopefully there would be an agreement that both parties would fund it," Donnelly said.
Donnelly, meanwhile, said he will seek volunteers from the department's 26 eligible officers for the program.
He and school officials then will select two officers, who will receive 40 hours of training in November and could be on the job as early as January.
In other business:
* George Schanzenbacher, the economic development zone chief, presented a draft development plan for the greater Olean area, focusing on small businesses.
It recommends action to retain business, attract new businesses and revitalize the downtown. Aldermen will review the plan and submit comments by the end of next month, so final action can be taken this year.
At a Common Council session after the committee meeting, aldermen:
* Confirmed the mayor's appointment of John Sayegh as community development director and fair housing officer at a salary of $58,900 a year.
* Adopted a new rate schedule for ambulance service.