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CITY COUNCIL MEETING JUNE 26, 2017 (New Police Officers, Tactical Medic Position, Street Foreman)

At Monday night's city council meeting, Chillicothe Police Chief Rick Knouse introduced two of the three new officers hired to bring the department's roster to full staff. Whitney Murdock, Eric Menconi, and Matthew McCurry will now be on patrol in Chillicothe.

Also on the agenda was Chief Knouse's presentation to commission Rob Williams as a Tactical Medic creating a new position on the S.W.A.T.unit, an idea that the Chief has been considering ever since the "Active Shooter Scenario" exercise, back on May 25. "When we have a high risk situation, they stand by, but I need someone right there too," said Chief Knouse about the fire department. "Even though it was just a drill, I realized I need someone here, I need someone with me." Williams, is currently a full time Fire Fighter/Paramedic with the Chillicothe Fire Department. And according to Chief Knouse, Williams has completed Post Commission Police Officer training, qualifies to maintain that certification with the police department, went to S.W.A.T. school, and Tactical Medic School all on his own, prior to this consideration. The only concern for the position is the fact that Williams is already a city employee. Even though Williams would only be called upon situationally, all hours would likely be overtime hours, and the council had questions regarding the need and cost for the position. Fire Chief, Darrel Wright, explained that the Fire Department currently supports the police department any time that they need it, including these situations that require S.W.A.T. But in these situations, he would normally send a truck with two paramedics and that those employees are usually called in and paid overtime. Chief Knouse explained that they wouldn't need immediate support from the fire department if they had the personnel on hand by adding this new position. Chief Wright thought that the cost of the new position might actually save money and supported the idea saying, "Anytime we send a truck, we page people in. It's a good move, a good use of resources." The council voted 5-0 to add the position on a trial basis, to see how effective, efficient and costly that the move will be, before they commit to the position permanently.

The Chillicothe City Council unanimously approved a request from Street Commissioner Barry Arthur to approve a new foreman for the street department. Arthur recommended that William Hays, age 31, was the choice following a request from interested current employees to seek the management position. The foreman position has been vacant for the past 2 1⁄ 2 months since then current foreman Jeff Gillespie was elevated to assistant street commissioner. Hays began duty as a seasonal employee and has done a good job, Arthur told the council. He worked construction before coming to the street department. He is married and he and wife have three children.

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Chillicothe City Council members will gather for their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at City Hall. A workshop meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room at City Hall. A couple of items first discussed in previous meetings will be revisited during the regular meeting, including an ordinance regarding an easement to Art Haynes and an ordinance regarding an engineering contract for the sidewalk grant project. Also, Police Chief Rick Knouse will introduce new police officers, as well as lead discussion about the commissioning of Rob Williams to serve on the tactical unit. The council will also consider amending the meeting times for the park board. Fire Chief Darrell Wright will discuss employment contracts for the paramedic and fire training school. The evening will conclude with an executive session, if needed, which will be closed to the public. Topics for the workshop meeting include city finances, the airport sewer project, and financial reports on the bowling alley and golf course.

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