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HOLYOKE — The City Council has voted to create a crime analyst position for the city.

During its March 19 meeting, the council voted to approve the formation of a crime analyst position after being delayed through subcommittee discussions on what the best language would be for the position’s descriptions. Only one councilor, At-Large Councilor Howard Greaney Jr., voted against the order.

“We reviewed this in committee, sent the language. It went back and forth for a little bit, and we settled on the language that we have before you,” said At-Large Councilor Israel Rivera.

The changes primarily focused on the specifics of the requirements listed for the position, including broadening the qualifications to require a social science background and not just a master’s degree in criminal justice.

Rivera said at the Ordinance Committee meeting earlier this month that he felt the qualifications and description looked good and he 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 that data in hand,” Rivera said during the prior discussion. “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.”

The position was originally 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 position will work to analyze crime data and assist the city’s approaches to public safety in the community.

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