HOLYOKE — The City Council will soon vote on the creation of a crime analyst position in the city after some delay through subcommittee discussions.

The order will head to the council following the Ordinance Committee’s March 13 meeting during which language for the position was finalized.

The order was tabled at a previous Ordinance Committee meeting as time was taken to work with city lawyers to expand the job qualifications description.

The subcommittee wanted to broaden qualifications to require a social science background and not just a master’s degree in criminal justice. Ward 3 Councilor David Bartley said he thought the changes look good regarding the qualifications for the position.

One change made that Bartley noted was having the one portion of the qualifications read that a candidate for the position must have at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related social science, and that a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related science is preferable.

At-Large Councilor Israel Rivera said he felt the qualifications and description looked good and was pleased with the changes. Rivera said he wanted to include a way for the job description to also be clear on the position’s involvement in assisting the department in presentations to the council when reporting analysis.

“It would help ease the burden when it comes to the chief having to come in all the time and different people coming in to represent certain things, this crime analyst more than likely would have the data in hand,” Rivera said. “They don’t have to come in all the time but every once in a while, to come through and present some of the data they got so that way we feel the value of the position too, not just the Police Department.”

Ward 5 Councilor Linda Vacon said it may not be worth the addition as it is mostly left to the police chief’s discretion on who he needs when addressing questions for the council. Rivera said even though that was a fair point, it was also the discretion of the committee at the moment to create the job position description.

“Once the position is created, then yes its under his discretion, but while we’re kind of creating it, there are certain things we could kind of incorporate into it so that way it serves the council’s purposes as well,” Rivera said.

The committee unanimously approved recommending the adoption of the position to the City Council who will vote on it at a future meeting.

The position originally was proposed within Mayor Joshua Garcia’s rejected $1 million public safety initiative, also known as Ezekiel’s Plan. The position stayed as a future line item in the city budget even with the plan failing.

The Ordinance Committee had voted to amend the experience requirements at its previous meeting to a bachelor’s degree with four years of experience or a master’s degree — preferred — with two years’ experience.

Ward 7 Councilor Meg Magrath-Smith said during that discussion that she believed the city has to raise pay on the position to make it more competitive with whatever surrounding communities offer. She compared Springfield where the salary for the position is $62,000.

“That just tells us that we are in the range of what is being offered regionally, which is good to hear,” Magrath-Smith said. “Looking at Springfield’s job description compared to what Holyoke put forward in the ordinance, I saw similarities, and nothing stood out as divergent or missing.”

Holyoke Police Sgt. Jospeh Zurheide said the suggested pay for the position came from surveying what other departments offered in the area.

“We’ve contacted them, and this was in the range to make the position attractive and competitive,” Zurheide said.

Rivera added he believed the pay scale might not be enough with all the new positions responsibilities. He added the main difference between the positions was that in Springfield it is a top-shelf crime analyst position, which should not be compared to the lower-level crime analyst position.

“We need to analyze the data, so that we can then learn how to approach public safety in the community,” said Rivera on why the position was so needed. “If we want to grow into something meaningful, when you start off from the beginning, you want the first person in this position to be a visionary, to see where they want to be five years from now. The bar is set a little low with the pay compared to other departments, in regard to the requirements.”

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