The Ashe County Sheriff's Office will receive a grant of more than $600,000 dollars to hire additional officers.

The Ashe Post and Times reports the grant from the US Department of Justice was approved by Ashe County Commissioners last week, and will allow for the hiring and re-hiring of entry level law enforcement offers in order to preserve jobs, increase community policing capability and support crime prevention efforts.

The grant money will be used to hire four new deputies.

According to the report, Sheriff B. Phil Howell said the Sheriff's Department's call volume has tripled over the last 15 years, but staffing on the actual road deputy patrol has not increased.

The money will cover entry-level salaries and benefits for new hires over three years, after which the county would take over the cost.