(WKBN) — Several police departments in the First News coverage area have been awarded funds totaling nearly $2.4 million to help with hiring efforts.

The funds come from the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program. The program is a competitive award program designed to provide funding directly to law enforcement agencies to hire and/or rehire additional career law enforcement officers to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

The highest local grant amount of $1,128,822 was awarded to the New Castle Police Department for the hiring of six officers. Also in Pennsylvania, Sharon Police Department was granted $375,000 to hire three officers and Sharpsville Police Department received $125,000 for the hiring of one additional officer.

In Ohio, Boardman Township Police Department was granted $625,000 for the hiring of five officers and Salem Police Department was awarded $125,000 to hire one officer.

“We expect too much of our police departments. It’s not only their job to arrest people and walk the streets in Youngstown or Struthers or Austintown. We’re asking them to also be mental health counselors on drug issues and all of those things,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

The cities of Chicago, Cincinnati, San Antonio and Houston each received the highest national award of $6,250,000 for the hiring of 50 officers per department.

Across the nation, 394 awards were given out, funding 1730 officer positions. The national funding for these positions totaled $216,809,571.