COQUILLE — The city of Coquille will be hiring a new police officer.

At the Coquille City Council meeting Tuesday members unanimously voted to allocate $37,000 for the position. 

The police department will come up with an additional $31,000 to cover the remaining salary by hiring one less code enforcement officer. Such officers keep up on parking enforcement, which the new police officer can help with.

The police squad, currently with six officers, has been down a person since March.

“I don’t want to take a step backwards,” Coquille Chief Mark Dannels said. “By not filling that position, I feel like it would  be a huge step back for what we are trying to do.”

Last year, the city paid for the position with school district funds. For now, this will be considered a year-to-year position, until the council and police department look at the budget for next year. The city will also consider the need for a code enforcement officer.

Dannels said he already has a few candidates for the job.

The remaining officers have been working overtime to cover the lost manpower.

“The innovative projects we like to do with the community have been hampered by not having an extra position,” Dannels said. “It’s a team effort.”

The chief plans have all his officers EMT certified in January and to pay for additional yearly training services.

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