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KTHV reports on future DPS split
Reporter Liz Massey and photographer Chris Whiteside of CBS affiliate KTHV-11 spent time with the Maumelle Department of Public Safety Wednesday, June 23. KTHV aired a report, which featured a live shot from in front of the fire station, about the ongoing efforts to split the DPS. While at the department, Massey & Whiteside had the opportunity to see Maumelle's public safety professionals in action as they responded to a motor vehicle accident with Lt. Jim Hansard. (See text of report below)
 

KTHV

KTHV
Reporter Liz Massey interviews Fire Chief George Glenn.

KTHV
Photographer Chris Whiteside collects video of Chief Glenn and
Engineer Watson conducting an air test on the cascade system.


Maumelle sales tax benefits police, fire and residents
By Liz Massey - todaysthv.com

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.

Lt. 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 Hansard.

That's 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.

"It 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," says Glenn.

Both 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.

Glenn 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 department.

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