Stow Police Chief Louis Dirker hopes to have two new officers on his force by the end of June or beginning of July after City Council OK'd the positions during an ongoing hiring freeze.
The police department currently has 36 sworn officers — the same amount as when Dirker came to Stow in 1998.
"The administration has been working diligently to hire two additional officers to get us a start in getting back to operating strength that is sufficient," the chief said during the May 7 council meeting.
Having 38 sworn officers on the force is expected to reduce overtime costs "slightly," according to Dirker, and will bring the staff up to the same levels as it was in 2009.
When council passed the 2012 budget, an additional $116,000 was included in the police department's personnel budget for the two new officers, according to Finance Director John Baranek.
The city is in the process of interviewing nine of the top 10 candidates who have already taken the civil service test. All of the candidates have served on a department before, said Dirker.
The chief also said he is also hoping to get some grant money that would allow the city to bring two additional officers on board — an idea residents of Stow really like.
In a Patch poll, 49 percent of voters said they'd prefer to have four or more additional officers hired in the city right now.
Dirker said the process of getting staffing levels up is going to be "long, but we'll do the best we can."
Councilman Mike Rasor asked the chief to express his deepest gratitude to the department for its work during lean times.