Eight new Wichita police officers could be patrolling the streets by June next year, Chief Norman Williams announced Friday.
The additional officers will begin training in January and will be paid out of a three-year, $1.6 million federal grant.
That will boost the number of commissioned officers in Wichita to 659.
Wichita City Council members agreed to apply for the Department of Justice grant last June, and they've agreed to continue funding the positions when the grant runs out.
The police department has 10 to 15 officers on active military duty on average, and the grant will help maintain patrol levels, Williams said.
The new hires come during a time when many city departments are cutting back or holding steady to make budget.
"It allows us to enhance our community-policing philosophy that we have operated under since 1994," Williams said. "But also it allows us to accomplish the City Council's goal, which is to provide for a safe and secure community."