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Florence Hires Two Police Officers, Promotes Three Firefighters

The City of Florence welcomed two new police officers and promoted three firefighters from lieutenant to captain.

Mayor Diane Whalen administered the oath of office to police officers Jake Whitford and Josh Callicoat. Whitford joins from Fort Thomas while Callicoat comes from Huntington, West Virginia.

The two officers will attend the state police academy next month, and when they return, the Florence Police Department will be at full strength.

Meanwhile Fire Department lieutenants Stacy Beach, Wes Burns, and Joey Marcum were promoted to captains.

In other business, city council listened to the first reading of an ordinance related to the hiring of police officers from other police departments, and firefighters and EMTS from other fire departments.

Council also voted to appoint Dr. Cathy Gratkowski to the urban forest commission for a three-year term. Gratkowski no longer lives in Florence, but Whalen said that the doctor is someone who wanted to serve on the board, and council allowed non-residents to serve in a vote at its last meeting.

The Great American Clean-Up is April 27, and the city will provide bags and gloves, as well as breakfast and lunch for anyone who wants to volunteer.

April 29 through May 5 is clean-up week in Florence, and with proof of residence people can bring unwanted items to the Public Service Garage on Tanners Lane.

The annual Easter egg hunt will be held on April 20 beginning at 10 a.m. at UC Health Stadium. There will be three age groups for children.

On April 27, there will be a Drug Take Back program in two locations, the city building and Kroger on Mall Road from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mayor Whalen said there has been a lot of comments on Facebook about the amount of trees being cut down in the city. She said there were a lot of trees cut down for the new Amazon project, as well as the expansion at the airport.

There has also been a project widening Pleasant Valley Road, and trees have been cut down for that project.

Finally, Fire Chief Scott  Knoll announced that the department's new ambulance has been striped and finished and is ready to go on the road.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
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