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City leaders can look at more police hires

City administrators can move the process for hiring two more police officers ahead after the Bellefontaine City Council Finance Committee said it would support ordinances to fund the positions as long as money is available.

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“I think it is important we do this to help keep morale up,” said Councilman Dave Haw. “We’re seeing an improvement in revenues, but we don’t want to spend it all.”

Committee Chairman Mark Fissel agreed, and noted the new hires would fill existing positions, not new posts.

“We’re just backfilling spots,” he said.

There are open positions in the Bellefontaine Police Department because of retirements and departures, and longtime Patrol Officer Randy Knox soon will retire, opening another spot.

“The staff has been amazingly resilient over the years,” Police Chief Brandon Standley told the committee. “But they are stretched to the limit.”

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