COLUMBUS, Kan. — The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office will soon have a new position that will focus on strengthening its relationship with the community.

Thanks to more than $115,000 in grant money from the United States Department of Justice, a “Community Outreach Deputy” position will be funded.

The person in this role will assist area school resource officers with programs and training, be responsible for creating and coordinating a Citizens Police Academy, and present crime prevention programs to civic and community organizations.

The hope is to have the position filled early next year.

“It’s one of the primary objectives of this specific grant and the office of community oriented policing is to bridge that gap build public trust of law enforcement. Because again the more we’re engaged on an individual basis the stronger that bond is,” said Sheriff David Groves.

Sheriff Groves said they will see if there’s any internal interest in the position before opening it up outside of the department.