The city of Cape Girardeau soon will hire three police officers, thanks to a grant awarded through U.S. Department of Justice’s COPS Hiring Program. About $355,000, will pay 75 percent of salaries and benefits for the officers for three years. The city will match 25 percent. Chief Wes Blair says the terms of the grant allow them to start hiring immediately. The city has to pay 100 percent of the officers’ salaries the fourth year. If they do not the grant will have to be repaid. After the fourth year, there are no ramifications for layoffs, but Blair said he doesn’t anticipate that happening. The new officers will be in the patrol division. Cape Girardeau is among four cities in Missouri that will receive federal grants through the program. The state will receive a total of $3.7 million. The largest share will go to St. Louis, which will receive $1.8 million to hire 15 more police officers by next summer. Springfield will receive $1.3 million for 11 officers and Berkeley $216,171 for two officers. The COPS program awarded more than $107 million to about 200 agencies nationwide. The Associated Press contributed to this report.