PORTLAND (AP) — The federal Department of Justice is giving three Maine law enforcement agencies a total of a half million dollars in funding to hire community policing officers.

The department says the largest grant is a $250,000 award to the Somerset County Sheriff ’s Department. The Madawaska Police Department and Jay Police Department are getting $125,000 each.

The grants are among 179 awards totaling more than $98 million that are going to law enforcement agencies all over the country. The funding is through the justice department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, also called the COPS Office.

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