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Sparta Police Ask City Council For More Officers And Higher Pay

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Sparta Police Ask City Council For More Officers And Higher Pay

Sparta Police asked the City Council Thursday night to help with increased pay and the hiring of more officers.

Sparta Police Chief Nick Dunn and Assistant Chief Brent Copeland addressed the Council. This after Dunn and another officer responded to a disturbance Saturday night where shots were fired. Dunn said that made him realize the department needed to hire and retain more officers.

“When bullets go whizzing past your head that makes you think,” Dunn said. “That makes you think. We’re here to do a job to keep the community safe. Just by the grace of god we were there to handle that situation.”

Copeland said the department is stretched thin covering vacation days, sick days, personal days as well as already being understaffed.
Mayor Jerry Lowery said they will get all the numbers together and have a work session to discuss the officer shortage.

Many agencies are struggling to compete with the Highway Patrol which recently increased its pay. Copeland said he knows the city cannot compare with those numbers, but something has to be done to retain officers.

“They’re actual having to work a second job, so it’s pulling them away,” Copeland said. “The money’s not there so there having to get a second job to supplement the pay. They love it here, but pays the big thing. A lot of times the guys we have to call in, they’re working all the time. I had one guy last week work 12 days straight trying to get the shifts covered.”

Copeland said their are not enough officers to properly serve the community.

“What you run into, when we have a big incident like that, it takes everybody on shift to cover that,” Copeland said. “Well what were doing unfortunately is leaving the rest of the community on stand by, because we have no one to cover that, because it’s taking both officers to handle that one call. Yes, we lean on the county as much as we can, but they’re thin too. They’re having to catch up with all the calls they got going. So that’s kind of where were at. We’re in desperate need.”

In other business, the Council approved the purchase of a new garbage truck for $315,900. Last week, the city had to pause garbage routes due to having two garbage trucks needing repairs.


The post Sparta Police Ask City Council For More Officers And Higher Pay appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.