Corvallis Police Hire More Officers

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CORVALLIS, Ore. —  Some city services slated to end Tuesday in Corvallis will continue on with the help of a voter-approved levy from last November.

The local option levy renews a previous levy, as well as adds additional city services.

The Corvallis Police Department is now able to hire four additional police officers.

“We’re really pleased that the community, with respect to livability, viewed it as a priority and opted forward with this levy,” said Chief of Police Jonathan Sassaman with the Corvallis Police Department.  “As a police department, we just feel blessed with a community who would be willing to take that chance with us.”

One of the police officers will work in schools as a resource officer.

“It gives us the ability to put an officer back in our school system, so they can start building those relationships with our young people as they’re growing up through middle school and high school,” Sassaman said.

The other three hires will be livability officers.

“As events in Corvallis ebb and flow, we may see an increase in partying,” Sassaman said. “We may see an increase in vandalism.”

The livability officers will work as a team to tackle these issues, but will also focus on education and prevention of crime within the community.

“We have to have an element of prevention,” Sassaman said. “We have to have an element where we’re working with the different aspects of our community to prevent the crimes from occurring. And then when they do occur, how do we have a really coordinated active response so that they don’t reoccur?”

Tuesday marks the beginning of the fiscal year, allowing the police department to make its hires and start training the new officers.

“We’re excited as an organization,” Sassaman said. “It gives us a flexibility that we haven’t had before.”

Osborn Aquatic Center and the Chintimini Senior Center were scheduled to close Tuesday  if the levy had not passed.

One dad, Aaron McKee, says keeping the pool open means his daughters can continue their swim lessons.

“Every community should have a swimming pool,” McKee said. “And this would be tragic if we didn’t have a swimming pool.”

McKee says had the pool closed, he is not sure where he would have been able to take his daughters to learn how to swim.

“It’s a resource,” he said. “And it’s not like we should expect to make money off the pool, but it needs to be there. People need to have that opportunity.”

The levy also funds the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library to reopen on Sundays. Other funds are going towards maintaining social service grants, long range city planning, code enforcement, and fire prevention.

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