(KXNET) — Law enforcement is having a difficult time recruiting and keeping officers. To help, a house bill is hoping to lend a helping hand to our North Dakota Police Departments.

House Bill 1307 creates a Back the Blue grant program helping to support retention and recruitment efforts for local law enforcement agencies.

Those in support of the bill say the bill will provide law enforcement with extra resources to address recruitment issues. One study conducted shows the main reason officers are leaving the service in our state is the low pay.

“House Bill 1307 appropriates $5 million to establish the Back the Blue grant program to support local law enforcement. The Back the Blue Grant provides local law enforcement agencies with workforce recruitment and pension for the being beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2025,” said Representative Emily O’Brien, District 42.

According to the North Dakota Association of Counties, in Burleigh County, the average salary for an officer is $58,000.

The Bill passed the House floor and is now heading to the Senate.