sales tax benefits police, fire and residents
By Liz Massey -
Maumelle is experiencing growing pains and that means fire and police are
sometimes being stretched too thin. Right now, both agencies are divisions
under the Department of Public Safety. For example, if there's a fire emergency
and firefighters need help, police pull double duty. That's right, the city's
police officers are also certified firefighters and they carry their firefighters
gear in the back of their patrol vehicles.
Jim Hansard says, when officers work a fire, they're taken off the streets
and that's not a good idea. "You got people in a fire, who have to get undressed,
take off their fire hat put on a police hat, gun belt and then go to the
scene, you're talking about a 10 minute response and that's dangerous," says
why he says it's so important for the police and fire departments to separate.
Fire Chief George Glenn agrees. Glenn says the one-cent sales tax passed
by citizens in February will help them move towards that. Glenn says it's
expected to generate between $600,000 to $1,000,000. A big part of that he
says will go to public safety. Glenn says right now they're in the process
of hiring five new full-time firefighters.
is not uncommon anymore to have simultaneous calls of different types, we
have to have resources in order to respond quickly to meet our citizens needs,"
Glenn and Hansard say both departments get along well and work well together
and will continue too. They just feel allowing each agency to focus on one
job will be more beneficial.
says by the end of the year, they'll submit an ordinance to the city council,
the council will then decide if each agency can become their own