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Lamar Council Okays Police-Fire Department Equipment Upgrades

Lamar Police Officer Austin Peck

Lamar Police Officer Austin Peck

The Lamar City Council approved a request for a software program to aid in police investigations. Police Chief, Kyle Miller, explained the free program from Tracers Information Specialists will provide access to public records and data sources to qualified organizations.  Chief Miller explained, “The information will only be used for investigations by the department.  The software program provides a complete breakdown of public information on an individual once their name in put into the system.  It’s a time saver for us as it eliminates the need for a continued search about the basic facts on a person.”

Lamar Fire Chief, Jeremy Burkhart, requested permission to submit a grant for $286,473 for 33 self-contained breathing units. He explained the city’s match will be 5% of the purchase price and will replace breathing units which are now about 20 years old.  The $13,641, he said, has been put into the 2017 budget.  The old models will simply be scrapped as they have no value for re-use.

The Lamar Police Department gained a new officer Monday, November 14th, with the swearing in of Lamar resident Austin Peck by Mayor Roger Stagner.  Stagner commented that it is always good for the city with a local resident takes interest in serving their community, especially with the commitment that comes from the local police department.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, noted a CDOT study that shows bicycling and walking activities in Colorado’s communities help contribute as much as $1.6 billion to the state’s economy. The city, in cooperation with such agencies as LiveWell Colorado and Healthy Places has worked to help establish a future walking and bike path, the Lamar Loop, for the community.  Numerous programs are in various stages of development which will help contribute to a healthier lifestyle for Lamar’s residents with particular focus on area youth.  The report indicated that these two basic activities is able to save state residents $3B in health care costs, but contributes to the local economy.  The breakdown shows $1.1B is generated through biking access in Colorado and walking contributes an estimated $497 million.

Zonta Member, Jamie Campbell

Zonta Member, Jamie Campbell

The council passed a proclamation declaring the 16 days between International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on November 25th and International Human Rights Day on December 10th as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.  Jamie Campbell of the local Zonta Chapter appeared before the council with the request.  Zonta of Prowers County, as part of Zonta International, is participating in the campaign which includes 1,200 clubs in 65 countries.  Local participation includes banners placed around the fire department asking for support as well as the annual Holiday Home Tour set for December 11th featuring local homes decorated for the Christmas season.  The tour fee helps support the Domestic Safety Resource Center.

Gary Wayne Oxley will replace Mikki Cartwright on the Library Advisory Board. The unexpired five year term will end on February 1, 2019.  In another library matter, Librarian Sarah McDonnell requested that the $2 rental fee on popular Fiction DVDs be discontinued so as not to create a financial barrier for patrons and comply with the Library Bill of Rights.  McDonnell said most libraries don’t charge for the service, but if a return is delinquent by two months, a full replacement fee will be levied against the borrower.

The council set December 27th as an alternative meeting date, following the Christmas holiday break.

By Russ Baldwin

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