WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia plans to hire 300 new police officers.

Mayor Vincent Gray said Wednesday that the police department will be ready to train a class of 35 recruits starting Oct. 4. The training classes will consist of 25 to 35 recruits and will be held monthly at the police academy.

The funding for the hiring begins at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

The goal is to build the department to 3,900 sworn officers by the end of the 2012 fiscal year.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.