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December 13, 2013

Norman City Council, committee discussion continues regarding renewing half-cent tax

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Other discussions included addressing the need for more dispatch employees. Oversight Committee Chairman Eddie Sims said there is a huge need for more dispatchers.

Just as the current sales tax incorporated payroll for police officers and firefighters, they should incorporate payroll for more dispatchers, he said.

City council members will continue discussion on temporary versus permanent sales tax options in another work session next Tuesday, Rosenthal said. The oversight committee also agreed to continue the discussion during their next meeting Jan. 9.

In addition, Rosenthal said they will schedule a public meeting to get feedback from the community on the issue, most likely in early January.

Police and fire departments also gave their monthly updates during the oversight committee meeting.

Fire Chief James Fullingim said they will have a contract ready in January for the purchase of two new tankers.

As far as filling the nine vacancies at the fire department, there were 180 qualified applicants for the new fire academy. Applicants will take a written exam on Saturday, Fullingim said.

The training portion for the fire academy is expected to begin in April, he said.

Norman Police Lt. Jim Keesee said they have six more officers who recently hit the streets for patrol duties. Eleven still are going through the current academy, and if all recruits graduate, there will only be 12 vacancies at the police department.

Not counting the 11 in the academy, there’s are 23 total vacancies, Keesee said.

The police department also reported that they recently helped host an anti-bullying symposium, received the Human Rights Award for their My Body, My Life program, graduated their fifth Citizens’ Police Academy class and logged about 325 hours of community-oriented policing.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

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