|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - April 2010
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Onalaska council OKs police dept. changes
Polk County Enterprise
BY LYNN BROWN
ONALASKA — City Council members voted to approve the hiring of a new full-time police officer and approved new reserve during Tuesday’s session at Onalaska City Hall. Police Chief Ron Gilbert presented Officer Jacob Chapman to council for consideration as a full time officer with the department. Chapman has served as a reserve officer with the department. His status as a full-time officer is effective April 1. Gilbert also introduced Officer Daniel Sanchez of Houston as a new reserve officer. Sanchez has over 20 years prior experience as an officer. Sanchez is bilingual with plans to eventually build a retirement home in the area. His responsibilities as a reserve officer will be on weekends. As a reserve officer, Sanchez is required to log 18 hours per month with OPD. After Council members approved the appointment of Sanchez, Mayor Pro Tem Tom Edwards administered the oath and welcomed Sanchez and his family to the community. In a related agenda item, the council approved the resignation of Officer Lee Parrish and Reserve Officer Fay Adams. During the public forum, a resident of Impala Woods Subdivision gave accolades to Chief Gilbert for his assistance in the subdivision. The resident said Gilbert and his staff resolved potentially unsafe situations in the subdivision and assisted residents so they can feel safe and secure in the neighborhood. Onalaska Volunteer Fire Department Chief Roy Newport presented council with a summary of emergency response calls. Newport reported OVFD responded to 29 county calls and 12 city calls in March. Of those calls, 33 were medical, one was a grass fire, two were motor vehicle assist calls and four were lake calls. Also reported was one assist call to a nearby county. Newport reported 84 manhours served for the month. Gilbert reported OPD handled 155 calls and 1,256 other incident calls during March. Thirteen felony arrests and 30 misdemeanor arrests were made. Also, 119 citations and 48 warnings issued during the month. OPD responded to three assist calls with the fire department, 26 with the county and two DPS assists. Two additional assists were included in the report relating to neighboring county calls. Officers logged 9,724 miles on patrol during March, an increase from previous months, due to criminal activity in the area and additional patrols within subdivisions. A total of 50 warrants were issued during the month and 61 warrants cleared Roy Newport presented the building permit summary to council members that included $290 in permit fees during March. One addition or modification was added in the city limits along with three new residential permits. The permits added $98,000 in value to the tax roll. Newport reported current improvement values to date are approximately $1.4 million. Council member Patsy Goins presented the Library and Friends of the Library report to council. She reported 45 new borrowers were added in March with 1,003 patrons visiting the facility, including 345 computer patrons. In the Friends of the Library report, Goins reported 24 volunteer hours were logged for the month. Goins reported the Baby Beautiful Pageant has been rescheduled for May 1 at the rent-for-event building on Hwy. 190. In public announcements, Chief Newport reminded council of the 37th Annual OVFD fundraiser scheduled April 24 at the fire station. Barbecue by the pound will be available the Tuesday before the weekend and entertainment, lunch and a live auction are planned April 24. The barbecue is the main fundraising event of the year for OVFD and the entire community is invited to attend. Agenda consent items approved by members of council included approval of previous minutes, approval of payment of vouchers and acceptance of financial reports. Onalaska council members will meet again at 7 p.m. on May 11 at City Hall. City of Onalaska monthly meetings are held at 372 FM 356 S.