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Jefferson City's public safety team will have fresh faces soon.

After months with vacancies in the fire and police departments, both are close to filling them.

The Jefferson City Fire Department is currently short two firefighters.

During Thursday's public safety meeting, Fire Chief Matt Schofield said he has two hires in training with the Columbia Fire Department.

"With those two folks, once they're done and back with that completed, then we're up to full staff," he said.

The fire department, even when fully staffed, opens applications about once a year — which will close Nov. 7 — and compiles a list in the event a position becomes available.

The Police Department is in a different situation with staffing. Currently, there are 14 open positions out of the 90 sworn officer positions with the department.

Police Chief Roger Schroeder said that number can be misleading because of the long process police officers go through to be hired.

He said he expects the number of open positions to be down to four by this time next month.

There is a former Jefferson City police officer who asked about returning, Schroeder said, which would fill one position.

The department has three new employees going through training at the police academy, three who were just released from training and three in the last two steps of the hiring process — medical and mental health assessments.

"I feel good about 10 people, which is a challenge in and of itself," Schroeder said. "We are also in the beginning of another selection process."

The process takes about three months, he said, and the hope is to have it wrap up in December so any new hires could start at the police academy in January.

There are also vacancies in other areas the police department oversees.

For instance, the department has three open positions out of the eight animal control officers that are budgeted. Schroeder said he offered a position to somebody last week who he believes will work out and only has a medical exam left in the hiring process.

"There's another one that I'm happy with, but he has military obligations through the end of the year," Schroeder said. "So we have a decision. I really can't afford to wait until January, but at the same time he says he could at any point in time be told, 'You're done, you can go back to the civilian side.' It could happen today or it could happen in December. So, we're up in the air on that."

The manager at the Jefferson City Animal Shelter will be leaving in the middle of October, which means Schroeder is also looking to fill that position.

At the 911 call center, Schroeder said, there are three vacancies and not very much interest in the position.

"I was concerned about 911, as I am about any other position, because we can't absorb those losses like we can with a sworn officer," he said.

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