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Karnes City police and fire services straining to meet demand
by Bain Serna
Mar 09, 2013 | 1474 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KARNES CITY – Emerging issues relating to both the police and fire departments of the city were discussed and examined at the Feb. 26 regular monthly meeting of the Karnes City City Council.

Karnes City Police Chief Eddie Salas and Fire Chief Charlie Malik attended the meeting to share insights regarding the needs and both the short and long-term goals of their respective departments.

Several days before the meeting both Salas and Malik had met with council members Jimmy Loya and Sherry Sommer in a more informal meeting to discuss related matters that they were now sharing with the entire council.

“We opened up the lines of communication to make sure that they were aware of where the potential of the city can go,” said Loya. “We also wanted to address the needs that they have and wanted to get their perspective on what their immediate needs are and what their long-range goals are.”

With the vast business, economic and population growth of the city, the police and fire departments are working to adapt to the increasing responsibilities and demands placed on the departments, city officials say.

Salas and Malik discussed with the council issues relating to possible location changes and upgrades to both the police and fire stations, and adding more necessary equipment and resources.

“One thing we’re going to need in our department is an interview room,” said Police Chief Salas. “I see the city of Karnes City growing so that also means additional manpower for our law enforcement. We have more individuals coming into the city and more issues of resources.”

Salas related the importance of a new interview/interrogation room with proper audio and video recording, as well as other factors relating specifically to the police station.

Fire Chief Malik presented to council a rough draft drawing of plans to possibly extend and expand the area of the fire station to accommodate a new tanker trunk as well as other vehicles.

Malik explained the various dimensions and estimated costs of the plan, along with the importance for greater capacity and storage area within the fire station.

“Our biggest problem has been storage,” said Fire Chief Malik. “When this tanker issue came up, we thought we could maybe extend that one bay area out to accommodate a tanker.”

The City Council and the police and fire department heads state that they will continue to work together to solidify plans and to meet the needs and goals of the departments.

Also during the meeting, the council heard a presentation by Wayne Beyer of Beyer and Co., CPA regarding the city’s annual audit for the fiscal year 2011-2012. Karnes City received a “unqualified opinion” (also known as a “clean opinion”), which is the best and highest evaluation of an audit.

Beyer went over the various aspects and facets of the city’s financial statements and complimented the council for its financial standings and accountability.

“Your financial condition is very good,” he said.
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