Havre’s Ordinance Committee Discusses Police Qualifications

HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – After Havre’s City Council meeting Monday night, the Ordinance Committee met with one item on their agenda.

They considered making changes to the ordinance regarding hiring local police officers. They want to remove wording that bars anyone over the age of 35 from becoming an officer. The Committee decided that wording leaves them open to a discrimination lawsuit, so they struck the language and instead referred to the qualifications set forth in State statute. Similar changes were recently made to the qualifications for becoming a firefighter.

Mayor Tim Solomon questioned whether there should be language requiring some kind of residency and Chief Gabe Matosich agreed. The Committee tabled the issue to add the new residency requirements and then will send it past Matosich for review.

Local business owner, Tom LaFond approached the Committee asking that the 2-hour parking area in downtown Havre be expanded to the street in front of his business. The Committee agreed to invite the other businesses in the area to talk about this issue.

Mayor Solomon also suggested to the Committee that they change their meetings from two, generally short meetings, to one longer, monthly meeting addressing their agenda items, and another monthly working meeting for committees. Solomon said there are other cities that operate like this and they have seen some success. He believes more could be accomplished this way, and they could still call another meeting later in the month if they needed.

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