MARION, IL (KFVS) - The City of Marion voted to create a city arson investigator position at special city council meeting Thursday, July 16.
The vote passed by a count of 4-1.
Councilman Hightower said that he doesn't think the position is needed because the police department has detectives that can do a similar job. He said he could see the position costing the city down the road.
Mayor Bob Butler said the move is all in an effort to improve the city's safety response.
"We will have a highly qualified fireman investigator who has been trained to investigate a suspicious fires," Butler said. "We have suspicious fires occur more than one might think about."
Currently, when the city has suspicious fires it relies on the investigators from the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall. Butlers said while the the state fire marshal's office responds promptly, investigators there are busy but scattered all over.
"They get over loaded with work," Butlers said. If the City of Marion hires its own investigator it won't need to rely on the state.
The City of Marion is considering hiring a person already employed with the city fire department, and who already has the necessary training.
"We expect it to be a win, win situation," Butler said.
The new employment would come at additional cost to the city, according to the Mayor.