Carthage's police and fire stations will have new furniture soon thanks to donations from the public.

Carthage's police and fire stations will have new furniture soon thanks to donations from the public.

The Carthage City Council on Tuesday voted to accept two donations, one of six chairs and ottomans valued at $6,500 to the fire department from the Wright Family Partnership and the second of $10,000 to the police department from an anonymous donor.

Carthage Fire Chief Chris Thompson said the furniture would replace worn out furniture that has been used by firefighters since the building was built in the 1980s.

Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan said the $10,000 donation would be used to replace office chairs in one police department conference room, remodel both of the conference rooms in the station and insulate and add video equipment to an interview room.

Resolutions to accept both donations passed the council unanimously.

Both departments also released their year end reports for the calendar year 2013.

Dagnan said the police report shows the department answered 31,800 calls for service in 2013, an average of 87 per day.

“Just so you understand, a call is not when the phone rings,” Dagnan said. “A call is when an officer is actually dispatched to a location. That is what we consider a call for service, so 87 a day is pretty significant.”

Dagnan said the department's crime clearance rate, the rate at which crimes were solved, was 62 percent, well above the normal average for a city like Carthage of between 40 and 45 percent.

“Bad news is that crime is up, but only by 40 reportable incidents,” Dagnan said. “So if you look at our crime index, we had 40 more reported incidents than last year, so not horrible, but still something that we need to work on.

“We were able to reduce traffic accidents last year and those that were injured in traffic accidents. We are already goal setting for 2014, trying to do better than we did last year.”

Thompson said the fire department's calls for service were also up slightly from 1,623 in 2012 to 1,646 in 2013. That number was below the department's five year average number of calls for service, which is 1,695.

Thompson said in his report that 2013 was “a year experienced with mixed emotions.”
He described the June 6, 2013 fire that destroyed the Sassy Spoon restaurant on the Carthage Square as “a fire most firefighters won’t experience in their careers.”

He also talked about how “Mother Nature did what legend said couldn't be done; Carthage experience the first tornado in documented history on May 19. The strength and resolve of this community made it possible to meet the unique challenges of each severe weather event we encountered.”

He also talked about the Feb. 6, 2013 car crash on County Route HH west of Carthage that left two people killed and a one-year-old child stranded in the wreckage with his deceased grandmother.

“Two bystanders, traveling in separate vehicles, stopped to provide assistance before any emergency personnel could arrive,” Thompson said. “Mrs. Keona Johnson and Mrs. Leanne McAtee provided aide and care for the small child and remained on the scene for nearly two hours while the family was notified of the accident. Both women demonstrated selfless acts of kindness and bravery on that day and were publically recognized at a Carthage City Council meeting on March 12.”