Future Of Salisbury PD Certain, Fire Dpt. Still Up In The Air - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Future Of Salisbury PD Certain, Fire Dpt. Still Up In The Air

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SALISBURY, Md. - The future status of twelve positions within the Salisbury Fire Department is still up in the air.

After receiving the SAFER grant in 2012, the department was able to hire the new positions, but that is set to expire on October 18th. The department plans to reapply, and city council says they are confident they will get the grant again, but if not, the city's newly-approved 2015 budget only includes two unfrozen positions.

Council members say they were able to put aside funds for a new firehouse, but putting aside hundreds of thousands for the ten other positions as a cushion was not feasible.

Meanwhile in the police department, five extra officers will now help patrol the streets of Salisbury.

Salisbury City Council's 2015 budget includes 15 additional officers, with five coming from reorganization within the department so they can hit the streets immediately, and 10 that will be new hires. Mayor Jim Ireton says the funds come from a property tax increase of about four cents per $100 of assessed value. For an average home, that is reportedly about a $60 per year increase.

"We know that our population skyrockets to about 130 or 140,000 people during the day, we're not going to be able to do that with the existing number of officers that we have," says Jim Ireton, mayor of Salisbury. "So, we're planning for that, we're going to go ahead and put these officers on the street now to be ready for that growth."

Mayor Ireton says their goal is to hire officers with previous police experience to make the long hiring process a bit shorter, but he anticipates most will start police academy in January.

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