Medford public safety personnel will be getting reinforcements in the coming months after facing staffing shortages through the difficult economy.
During last week's mayoral press conference, Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn and Police Chief Leo Sacco, Jr. discussed the new additions both the Police and Fire departments will be receiving.
McGlynn said between new police officers and firefighters the city will be filling 26 positions over the next year.
"Over the last 18 months, we're turning the corner," McGlynn said. "We're building our reserves...we're moving quickly, especially in the public safety sector, to restore a lot of the jobs that were not filled."
Sacco said six police officers were hired last June and five of them recently completed a 23-week academy. Sacco said one other officer will complete an upcoming academy.
In addition, police are currently screening six new candidates for appointment. Sacco said he hopes the mayor will be able to make those appointments this spring.
Sacco said the five officers who completed the academy should be "placed into regular assignments" by the second week of March "to fill some of the voids that are out there."
Sacco said that while his department did not have layoffs over the last few years, there were several retirements.
"Things are looking much better," Sacco said.
McGlynn spoke about the Fire Department's new additions that will come as a result of a new Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant the city has just secured to the tune of $1.5 million.
"It will hire an additional eight firefighters for a two-year period with all of their health insurance and other benefits," McGlynn said.
There are seven new Medford firefighters that have just graduated from a recent academy, McGlynn said.
"Hopefully within the next 10 or 11-month period of time, you'll see 26 new bodies providing service and protection throughout our community," McGlynn said.