KOKOMO, Ind. — It’s a new year with new faces around Kokomo’s city hall.
The new mayor, police, and fire chief have all been sworn in and they all have big plans for the city.
Mayor Tyler Moore says Kokomo is continuing to thrive and be progressive. He wants to hit the ground running with improving Kokomo.
“The biggest issues have been public safety and the staffing levels of both the police and fire,” Mayor Tyler Moore said.
“The most difficult aspect of that is having to make sure we have enough patrol officers on the street to answer everyone’s call for service when needed on all 3 shifts 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” Kokomo Police Chief Doug Stout said.
Kokomo’s new Police Chief Doug Stout started with the department 20 years ago and he has served as a captain of the uniform patrol division. He says in the past there have been a lot of cuts and the department has tried to adjust.
“We, of course, have had an increase in certain amounts of crimes over the years and other times it goes back down,” Chief Stout said.
Stout wants to focus on recruiting more officers and so does the new fire chief.
“More often than not we are short staffed on our fires. We’re not meeting up NFPA 1710; which is our standard we operate under so our goal now is how to get back to that standard,” Kokomo Fire Chief Chris Frazier said.
It won’t be an easy task to do.
“Currently in Indiana there is a very active recruitment of firefighters and police officers among the communities are growing. Especially in Hamilton County and the Indianapolis area, so we are now competing with those areas for the same people looking to come into this profession,” Chief Frazier said.
All 3 men are up for the challenge. They all want to show community members they care.
“Both of our departments are service-based initiatives. We serve the community in many many aspects so it’s good to let them know and the let the people know that we serve them, know we are there for them, and they have availability to us,” Chief Frazier said.
Mayor Moore is also continuing efforts to expand.
The city currently has plans in place for a new convention center and parking garage downtown.