CLINTON — The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office will seek to take advantage of a federal grant program that would fund an additional full-time staff position for a period of three years.

Chief Deputy Kevin Cain appeared before the Clinton County Board of Supervisors Monday to report that the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, known as COPS, recently announced the availability of up to $1 billion in funding for its Hiring Recovery Program. The COPS Office will receive the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to address the personnel needs of state, local, and tribal law enforcement.

The Hiring Recovery Program seeks to increase community policing and crime prevention efforts through the hiring and rehiring of career law enforcement officers. Cain told the board that the sheriff’s department currently has 23 deputies and would use the grant money to fund the creation of a new position.

The competitive grant program requires no matching funds, and provides 100 percent funding for entry-level salary and benefits for full-time sworn officer positions for three years. Cain indicated to the board that the agencies receiving grants are responsible for funding the positions for one additional year after the three-year grant expires.

Cain reported that the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office would be responsible for minimal upfront costs of around $5,000 if the grant is received, including tuition to the law enforcement academy and uniform expenses.

Supervisor Chairman Dennis Starling directed Cain to file an application for funding.

“We’re going to get three years free at the cost of one year’s pay,” Starling stated. “We would be foolish not to accept that.”