SOUTHOLD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Southold officials are hiring eight new police officers because of increasing tourism and a growing gang problem.

The new hires come at an annual cost of $800,000, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.

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Some residents support the move.

“The Town of Southold is growing and with the growth comes these new things,” said Rick Palumbo, who runs a deli in the rural East End community. “You know, you have to be diligent and have your eyes wide open.”

“It’s better to be over-protected than under-protected,” Palumbo added. “There’s always something going on in this world, at least we’re ready for it.”

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However, there are others who see the new police officers as an unnecessary expense.

“More reason to raise taxes,” said resident Billy Barr. “Just to rob us of more than they’re robbing us already.”

The new hires will include the town’s first Hispanic officer, Xirinachs reported.

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