LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) — The Le Mars Police Department (LMPD) is looking to add another officer to their ranks.

Last fall, the City of Le Mars received a $250,000 grant from the community oriented public services hiring program.

Kevin Vande Vegte, the Le Mars Chief of Police, told KCAU 9 they have wanted to expand their ranks for a while.

“The first position that we going to be filling will be a community impact officer. So, this specific position will be assigned all lengthy investigations involving sexual abuse and things of that nature in the community, but they’ll also be an investigator on the department,” said Vande Vegte.

Vande Vegte said this will be Le Mars’ first time having an officer solely work on this position.

“So, we’ve never had a full-time investigator, we’ve always handled our own investigations. Which is sometime problematic, because officers begin an investigation two or three hours into it, they get called to something else,” said Vande Vegte.

To fill the position, the LMPD looked towards its own officers.

“We are in the process of drafting a job description and individuals from our department will be able to apply for that position. And we will back fill the empty slot with a patrolman,” said Vande Vegte.

However, to find an officer to fill the vacant position won’t be easy. Vande Vegte said while plenty of PDs are struggling to find officers, he’s hoping their department will be different.

“Getting law enforcement candidates across the U.S. has been a problematic. Luckily in Le Mars we’ve had really great candidates, we’ve always been able to find individuals we thought were a good fit for our community. And we’re hoping that trend will continue,” said Vande Vegte.

A resident of Le Mars told KCAU 9 he’s all for another officer.

“I think that it’s great to have more officers around covering the streets a little bit, I mean to keep everyone safe,” said Zach Heitritter, a Le Mars resident.

Vande Vegte said he hopes to have the position for a new patrolman filled by October 1, 2023.