As requests for law enforcement increase, the city is funding up to two new positions for the police department.
The Kalispell City Council voted to approve one additional full-time officer through its budget as well as a second position that is contingent on the city receiving a federal grant that would fund the position for the first three years. After that, the city would have to pay to keep the officer.
The addition of one new hire would bring the city’s squad to 37 officers.
This is the first time Kalispell has added at least one officer to its operations in a decade, according to city officials. The city lost an officer position during the recession.
“With this new hire we’re getting back to where we were in 2007,” Police Chief Roger Nasset said. “I know by looking at the numbers, it’s justified. It’s been very busy.”
Through mid August, the city’s police department had received 19,893 calls, according to city manager Doug Russell. At the same time last year, the department had received 19,201 calls.
The total first-year cost for both officers would be $115,040. The federal grant would cover up to $125,00 over three years.
Nasset said the city hopes to fill one or both positions by late November. Following training, the officer or officers could be working full-time in Kalispell by spring.
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