EDISON - Thanks to a federal grant, towns in New Jersey will be able to hire more police officers or keep officers from being laid off due to budget cuts.

In all, New Jersey was awarded $20.8 million thanks to the Department of Justice's Community Orientated Policing Service Hiring Program.

In Monmouth County, Asbury Park will get over $1.6 million for five officers, while Long Branch will receive over $1.5 million for four officers.

The grant will keep all the officers on the force for at least four years.

Other police departments benefiting from the program include Newark, Irvington, New Brunswick and Little Egg Harbor.