JAMESTOWN – Officials in Jamestown are pledging new investments to help improve public safety, which includes additional hires for both the police and fire departments.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist joined other municipal leaders Monday night announcing the new effort.
“Tonight I’m proud to announce investments into our public safety departments, totalling millions of dollars,” explained Mayor Sundquist. “The public safety committee, President Dolce, and myself have found common ground on the need to invest in our police and fire to make Jamestown safer.”
Money from the American Rescue Plan Act will be invested to hire three new police officers, with a focus on gun violence prevention and quality of life issues.
Gun violence is a nationwide problem, and as Mayor Sundquist says, Jamestown is not immune.
“The City saw 19 shooting incidents last year and there are already seven this year. Unfortunately, we’ve lost three people and have had seven injuries as a result of these shootings,” stated Mayor Sundquist. “The Police have seized, held, or recovered 90 guns last year, which more than doubled from 2020. This year, 25 guns have been seized, held, or recovered.”
The city also has a dire need for EMS workers; this crisis is why officials plan to employ four new firefighters. They also will deploy a second ambulance within the department.
“Over the past decade or so, we have seen our fire department run more and more EMS calls,” says Mayor Sundquist. “Today the Fire Department has run nearly 11 percent more calls, and nearly 30 percent more EMS transports than they did this same time last year. This is in addition to running one thousand percent more calls than they ran a decade ago.”
Any new personnel for both the fire and police departments will have to be trained, a process that officials say could take months to complete.
The costs for the new hirees, and ambulance purchase is not finalized yet, and will be presented to the city council at their May 16th work session.