WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — The Department of Justice announced on Monday it will award a $1.7 million grant to the City of West Memphis to combat the rise in crime.

The grant to hire additional 14 full-time police officers will last for three years and will cover 75% of the costs. The city must come up with the remaining 25%. The funding has already been secured.

The department is currently down seven or eight officers.

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According to records, there have been eight homicides in West Memphis this year. Six of them have been solved.

The West Memphis Police Department was one of five in the state of Arkansas to receive the grant. The WMPD is currently understaffed and the funding will alleviate that in time.