JAMESTOWN – Jamestown City Council continued its talks on the potential implementation of a residency requirement for new JPD hires during a Work Session meeting Monday night, with one Councilman calling for the municipality to negotiate with the Jamestown Kendall Club.
Councilman At-Large, and retired JPD officer Jeff Russell (R), reaffirmed that he believes the City should institute a residency requirement for officers that are hired on or after Jan. 1, 2021. Russell, however, says that negotiations should occur to prevent long-term issues for the City.
“I’m concerned that if it is imposed on the police department that there is going to be further litigation possibly by the union, which is going to cause the city money,” Russell said. “I’m a proponent that this be negotiated, or attempted to be negotiated, before it is imposed upon the police department.”
Councilwoman Marie Carrubba (D) also says that she is concerned about passing a requirement before negotiating.
Members of the Council also commented on the requirement as a whole. Councilwoman Vickeye James (D) says that she received positive feedback from the community.
“The community is happy….,” James said. “They were very pleased.”
James says that she wants to see a 9-10 year requirement.
The previous law brought before the Council from Corporation Counsel Elliot Raimondo called for a six-month deadline for an officer to move into the City of Jamestown upon their hire. Russell, however, says that the deadline should be 12 months, the length of the department’s Civil Service probation.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist was asked to provide his opinion on the requirements. He says that he has “no feeling” about whether the deadline should be six or 12 months. Sundquist, however, says that he’d be “happy” and would sign into law a residency requirement that falls between 5-10 years.
Councilwoman At-Large Kimberly Ecklund reminds the public that the requirement doesn’t affect current JPD officers. In addition, the Council clarified that the law doesn’t mean a person has to live in the city for the approved number of years before becoming an officer.
Ecklund says that the requirement should be between 5-7 years. Councilman Grant Olsen (R) adds that the requirement should be closer to five years than 10, adding that he isn’t even “100 percent” in support of a residency requirement.
The requirement will “remain in discussion going forward,” Sundquist says.