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Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 03/15/2012

Montgomery officials want to add 43 police officers next year

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) proposed an operating budget for fiscal 2013 Thursday that would add 43 police officers to the force, the vast majority of them patrol officers spread throughout the county, police officials said.

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said the new officers would be ready to work in about a year. The increase is part of a three-year plan to beef up the police force, Manger said.

The Montgomery County Council has final say over the budget and will approve it in May. Read more about the budget here.

Of the 43 officers, 34 will be patrol officers. Manger said he plans to spread them evenly across the county’s six police districts. In addition, another seven will serve as detectives in the Rockville, Bethesda and Montgomery Village districts. Manger said he has noticed an increase in home break-ins and other police cases in those areas.

“This is really going to give us the flexibility to address spikes in crime at a moment’s notice,” Manger said.

Manger said he has been crafting the three-year policing plan over the last several months, on Leggett’s request. Manger wrote a five-year plan shortly after he’d become police chief in 2004. Although county officials implemented the first year of that plan in 2006, they later broke from it because of budget cuts.

After 2006, the police department saw no additional police officers until last year, when county officials appointed 24 officers to Silver Spring and parts of Eastern County and retained six school officer positions slated for elimination.

Manger declined to give specifics about the second and third years of his new plan, but he said that he plans to send patrol officers to target areas that have been “historically ... problematic,” such as Wheaton.

By  |  02:28 PM ET, 03/15/2012

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