WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - The Wausau police department will convert one of its patrol officers into a full-time domestic violence officer.

The move will help the department expand a pilot program that follows up with victims of domestic abuse. It will also help police develop curriculum to educate school children about domestic violence and reach out to people who don't typically report abuse.

The department has received two federal stimulus grants totaling $68,000 to pay for the officer's wages and benefits for six months. Administrators are seeking a third grant that would help cover the costs past the first six months and could be renewed annually.

Police commanders will interview interested officers next week and hope to pick their officer by the first week in March, said patrol services Lieutenant Ben Bliven.

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