The Lincoln Police Department will be applying for a federal grant to add two officers to devote their time and resources to fighting gang-related crimes in the city. If LPD receives it, the money would come from the office of Community-Oriented Policing Services and would pay 75% of the salary and benefits per officer for up to three years. Police Chief Jim Peschong says there's been an 18% increase in documented gang membership in Lincoln over the past seven months. In September, the Lincoln Police Union, the Lincoln Independent Business Association and City Councilman Roy Christensen made a plea for more officers. Christensen applauds this action and said he knows police force expansion is costly, but public safety a core mandate of city government.