JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council voted unanimously Monday night, hiring four new firefighters and three new police officers.
Previously, Mayor Eddie Sundquist, along with other city leaders announced the plan to hire the new firefighters to combat the rising EMS crisis, and the police officers, to form a new gun violence unit and quality of life unit.
Furthermore, the Fire Department is purchasing a new ambulance, and according to Mayor Sundquist, this is just the beginning.
“I want to be clear, this is a step, this is one step in our process to move forward,” explained Mayor Sundquist.
In light of rising gun violence, and a mass shooting that hit so close to home, the need for additional units is apparent, as Councilman Andrew Faulkner adds.
“May 16th, May 15th, May 12th, May 4th, May 3rd, and May 2nd, those are all dates from a two week period this month, each one represents an incident when the Jamestown Police Department recovered an illegal firearm that was on the streets of Jamestown,” says Faulkner. “Nobody can deny that right now is a time of increased gun violence and gun crime.”
The project costs the city roughly $3.2 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act monies, but the new EMS team will generate some revenue. As Council President Tony Dolce explains, these positions are not guaranteed, when it comes time to renew them.
“Depending on who the mayor and council is at that time, those are decisions that they will have to make,” stated President Dolce.
As for a time frame, it could take multiple months for the new ambulance to arrive, and for the training process to be completed for both firefighters and police officers.
“Best case scenario would be within 6 months, would be my realistic goal,” explained Fire Chief Matthew Coon.
Experienced officers will be moved into the new units, while the new hirees will gain experience in vacated patrol positions.