Nov. 18—SALEM, N.H. — The police department can hire a new officer thanks to a highly sought federal contribution of $125,000.

The justice department on Thursday awarded a total of $139 million for nationwide law enforcement hiring and to advance community policing.

The awards provide direct funding to 183 agencies across the country, allowing a collective 1,066 full-time law enforcement professionals to be hired.

Salem is one of three New Hampshire towns included. The others are Epping, given $125,000 to hire one officer, and Groveton, a municipality bordering northern Vermont that will hire two officers with $250,000.

Salem police Chief Joel Dolan said his department has applied for this particular funding several times in recent years but was denied.

“It’s a very competitive process,” Dolan explained. “New Hampshire has normally only received (up to) four awards, and there are typically 16 to 18 towns that apply.”

This time around, Salem’s application expressed a need for a specialized officer — someone to keep an eye on elder abuse and scams aimed at that group.

“We feel that we do a good job with the general population and in schools with our resource officers, but this is one area that we lack specific attention,” Dolan said.

Senior citizens have historically been the target of scammers looking for money.

The New Hampshire Attorney General last year warned of a “grandparent scam,” in which someone calls or emails posing as a relative, typically a child or…

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