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Lebanon looks to add police due to growth

Sinclaire Sparkman • Jul 13, 2018 at 6:44 PM

The Lebanon City Council invited Lebanon police Chief Mike Justice to the table at Thursday evening’s work session for a report on upcoming needs for city safety. 

Justice said the Lebanon Police Department would need about 17 new officers in the near future to keep up with population growth in the city. 

“What I’m telling you right now, with what’s being built right now, upon its completion this is status quo. That’s not adding any detectives. That’s not adding any traffic officers. That’s not adding any more people to do proactive policing. I’m just telling you status quo you need 17 officers,” Justice said.  

A resolution on the council’s agenda for Tuesday’s meeting would approve a bonus payment for newly hired certified police officers and certified dispatchers to create incentive for people with police training to join the force in Lebanon.

“We’re hiring these officers, so we can have more boots on the ground, more officers on the road. We don’t want to wait until all that’s being built is built, because then we’re behind,” said Lebanon police Sgt. P.J. Hardy.  

The council also discussed security at Don Fox Community Park. Justice said cameras and police call boxes could help create some security at the park without a need for officers to be there in person. In all, the city would most likely consider a budget amendment for $60,000 to buy and install the cameras and call boxes. 

Also on Tuesday’s agenda, the council will consider an agreement with Wilson County Adult Softball for the use of Hobbs Field. The adult softball league presented a plan to the council last month, and representatives said it would handle all site maintenance and upkeep through its members. The council agenda for Tuesday also includes: 

• consideration to buy one police vehicle.

• an agreement with Wilson County Schools for the waiver of certain city fees in consideration of the satisfaction of an outstanding balance of the city related to back payments for $471,259.30 owed in liquor-by-the-drink taxes. 

• revisions to the pay plan for city employees.

• support for the 20th-annual observance of “A Day of Prayer for Our Schools”

• a pair of amendments to for for land at Partlow Funeral Home. 

• changes to permitted land uses for group care facilities.

• upgrades to a railroad crossing at Briskin Lane to satisfy state standards.

• approval of bids for sewer rehabilitation.

• a lease agreement for a room at the Lebanon Municipal Airport.  

The council will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights in Lebanon.

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