By JOSH NEWTON
Tahlequah city councilors gave their OK Monday night to hire a new patrolman in the police department.
Police Chief Nate King said Steve Smith will be the new officer.
Councilors also approved transferring Officer Randy Tanner into a new role with the department. Tanner will become the new school resource officer at Heritage Elementary School, a role created earlier this year after discussion with Tahlequah Public Schools officials.
King said the new SRO will also be tasked with occasional special-emphasis assignments, and will patrol the southern parts of the city while on duty.
City officials also allowed King to declare nine older patrol vehicles as surplus.
“They are still operable,” King said. “We hope to sell all of them to Adair County [agencies]. They are all extra, and we’ll still have a fleet for reserve and full-time officers.”
Agencies in Adair County plan to purchase the vehicles for $1,000 each.
King said the police department recently bought 15 tasers and dispersed them among officers who wanted the devices, but several other officers have also requested tasers.
He expects the money raised from selling the nine vehicles will cover the cost of eight additional tasers.
“We have seven officers who still would like a taser,” King said.
In other action Monday, councilors also approved the promotion of Wally Henry to street superintendent in the street department.