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Studies Recommend Glendale Fill Positions, Replace Old Gear

Glendale police and firefighters had to find ways to cut corners without reducing services during the Great Recession. With the economy improving, a consulting company says it’s time to start rebuilding those departments.

Hire more people and replace aging equipment were a pair of key recommendations given to the Glendale City Council by California-based Citygate Associates LLC, which did studies on the police and fire departments.

Glendale police have several recruits in the academy now, and Chief Debora Black wants the council to authorize money to hire another half-dozen community service officers. Those are civilian jobs that would support patrol officers, which could reduce response times.  

“I believe the information presented makes a very compelling ask,” Black said. “I’m hopeful that everything we’ve identified will be funded.”

Fire Chief Terry Garrison said he wants permanent funding for two-person medical crews. But the department also has to replace old gear like breathing equipment and fire trucks. 

“We’re looking at hopefully purchasing six engines, if it’s authorized, over the next few years,” Garrison said. “We have fire engines with over 200 hundred thousand miles on it, believe it or not.”

The studies were presented during a council workshop, so no votes were cast. Glendale will pass its budget before the fiscal year begins July 1.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.