Girard approves adding part-timers to police, fire forces

GIRARD — Wanting to make sure there are enough police officers and firefighters to cover all of the shifts, city council Monday approved adding part-time positions to each department.

For the police department, council approved up to five part-time officers. Each officer will be paid $15 per hour with no benefits with a cap of 29 hours per week.

For the fire department, council approved a part-time paramedic / firefighter and part-time basic emergency medical technician / firefighter program. A part-time paramedic / firefighter will be paid $13.50 per hour and part-time EMT / firefighter, $10.50 per hour. Neither would receive benefits and work no more than 29 hours per week.

City officials said the additions of the part-time employees will supplement and maintain staffing levels, and help with lessening overtime costs.

“Costs and benefits are a factor. With part-time they will have less expensive wages and have no benefits,” said Mayor James Melfi.

Melfi said another benefit is officials will already know the part-time employees when hiring full-time staff in the future.

“We create a pool of talent and will now be able to see how these folks do their job. When a full-time opening does occur we will have a better idea of who are the better candidates,” he said.

Safety Service Director Jerry Lambert said there will be more police patroling the streets and more firefighters helping on fire and ambulance calls.

Also, to help with recent concerns about student safety following a shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school, Girard City Schools have added an additional resource officer.

Melfi said the school district has one full-time resource officer on staff at $50,000 per year and has added, as of March 1, an additional full-time officer for the remainder of the school year at $16,500. He said the district is covering the costs for the officers and is considering adding a third resource officer in the fall.

A resource officer is located at Girard High / Junior High building and the other at Prospect Elementary and Girard Intermediate schools.

Also at the meeting, Melfi swore in Scott Strain as a new police sergeant and Mark Crain and Jacob Zager as new police officers.