Minden council

MINDEN, La. - Minden city leaders wants to change the way they hire police officers, firefighters, and other city employees.

The city council and mayor came together today to talk about those changes, and adding a couple of new positions.

Monday night, the council will decide if they will add a social media/public relations technician, and a human resources manager.

But, every council member isn't on board with the creation of those jobs.

Councilmen Vincen "Cheeze" Bradford and Herbert Taylor III, don't believe there's a need for a full time social media position.

The city currently has someone doing this job part time.

Taylor doesn't believe the hiring process will be fair either.

But, Mayor Terry Gardner says, if the position is approved it'll be posted for anyone to apply.

Gardner says, if the social media position is approved it would need to be worked into next year’s budget.

Taylor believes the hiring process for civil service employees like police officers and firemen will change Monday night.

Gardner thinks so too.

Current law requires a personnel committee to review possible hires.

On Monday, the council will vote to change the process to this, the police chief would recommend a candidate to the city council, they would then give their recommendation to Gardner.

"The city council wanted more input on hiring our police officers and firemen. So now, we will go through an intensive background check, and the city council will actually interview that employee to make sure they're satisfied with the recommendation from the police chief," said Gardner.

"It's really important because we're short staffed, but we don't want to just bring any officers in, we want to make sure we have the right person that's able to do the job," said Taylor.

Once the changes to the hiring process are passed at Monday’s meeting, the council plans to interview a police officer candidate in executive session.

The chief has an application he's been holding for about a month.

He's ready to find out if he can make a hire.

Right now, the police department has four open positions.

The police chief says that could change to six soon.

A Minden police officers starting salary is $13.75 an hour, or $28,900 a year.

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