ST. JOSEPH -- With one college in town and one more within 10 minutes, St. Joseph has expanded its police force.

The St. Joseph police department as of July 1 is made up of nine full-time officers including Police Chief Joel Klein. The city budgeted for the first six months of the ninth officer's tenure in the 2017 budget.

Klein says, the move lessons the chances the department is stretched too thin as the city grows.

"We've been growing for quite some time, we have the college population and a lot of new businesses that have come to town. St. Joseph has grown but our department hasn't".

He added, the new full time officer has already made an impact.

"So far the work we've been able to get done and make sure that everything's covered appropriately has been going very well".

Klein adds that right now they're happy with nine officers, and not looking to add anymore full-time. The city is focused on remaining as fiscally conservative as possible according to City Administrator Judy Weyrens.

Other items for the 2018 budget include a part-time custodian for Colt's Academy after District 742 moves out, new staffing at the Community Center, and a part-time Finance Technician.

The council adopted a preliminary version of the budget at Monday's meeting, and set a "Truth in Taxation" meeting for December 4 at 6:00 p.m. The final budget will be adopted shortly after that meeting, with the council hoping for a final adoption date of December 16.

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