WINHALL, Vt. — A Vermont town will receive another police officer, thanks to federal funding aimed at helping rural police departments.

Winhall Police Lt. Derrick Tienken says police in the town have seen an uptick in arrests related to heroin. The Brattleboro Reformer reports Democratic U.S. Patrick Leahy announced that five Vermont law enforcement agencies will receive about $600,000 to hire more police officers.

Leahy says the funds are critical to combat opioid abuse and the problems that accompany it.

The grant funding was sought in Winhall mainly because of impaired driving on roadways in the department’s jurisdiction.

The effort is part of the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Hiring Program, which was signed into law in 1994.

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