Two new police officers were hired last week by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen at the recommendation of Police Chief Bill Cox.

Cpl. Christopher Culpepper has started on the force while Cpl. Lindsey Kidd will come on board this week, Cox said.

With the two new hires, the city is "in good standing with its manpower," said Cox, who took over as police chief in November.

He doesn't expect to fill any more positions until the start of the new year.

Cox said he wants to make sure that his department had the appropriate strength to adequately provide for the city.

"I want everyone to feel safe in their homes and businesses," he said.

Ward 4 Alderman and Police Commissioner Cecil Nichols agreed, saying more officers could cover more ground.

Over the past year several officers have left the force, moving into higher paying jobs elsewhere.

However, both Cox and Nichols noted that the losses weren't detrimental to the city.

"We don't want to be understaffed," Cox said. "We need to keep our bases covered."

When he took over as chief, the force was short four patrolmen.

"He [Cox] wanted to build the force back up," Nichols said.

Nichols said he hopes more patrolmen are hired in the future along with more female officers, citing a need for at least two more.

"Bill has made some good, sound hires and we've got two good people that can start right now [Culpepper and Kidd]," he said.

Outside the new hires, the Police Department has also lost an officer with the termination of one officer on Tuesday, Dec. 18 because of a violation of the department policy, Cox said.

He would not comment further, saying it was a personnel issue.