EXTRA community police officers could be on the way to east Durham.
Durham Constabulary has appointed 17 police community support officers (PCSOs).
The new recruits will begin their training next month and will be visible within communities in April.
Chief Constable Jon Stoddart said: “This is excellent news not only for our communities but also for the individuals concerned, who will be starting their careers with an excellent police force.”
Durham Police Authority chairman Peter Thompson said: “The police authority is committed to maintaining its full complement of PCSOs despite the fact that, potentially, funding could run out in March 2013.
“The authority knows how much businesses and communities value and appreciate the work they do.”
The officers will be based at police headquarters at Aykley Heads, Durham, while they undergo a thorough training programme designed to equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out their duties.