KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The Kinston Police Department is working to make the streets safer. The department gave a presentation at Tuesday’s City Council workshop about a new program to help address some of their staffing shortages.

They’ll be implementing a police reserve program that will bring in four to five officers at this time. All of these officers are people who previously worked for the department and will now help fill vacant shifts.

“The purpose behind this program is to help us with our staffing issues that we may have at our agency,” said Maj. Keith Goyette with the Kinston Police Department. “These are all past Kinston police officers who work in our agency. They did 14 weeks of our field training, so they know Kinston, they’ve served Kinston and they have a good understanding of our agency and our citizens.”

Goyette said the officers will be able to help in many capacities.

“They are going to help us on the street with our patrol division, they’re going to answer calls, and serve the same capacity a normal police officer would,” Goyette said. “They can come and fill in on a Saturday night or even on a Wednesday. If we are short-staffed they will come in and fill that void.”

Goyette added one of their vacant police spots will help fund these other positions. Kinston City Councilmember Chris Suggs said at the virtual meeting, the program is a good way to address immediate needs.

“Speaking with Chief Spencer about the great things the department is doing, as well as some of the challenges like staffing, so hearing this program, I think it will be a good temporary solution,” Suggs said.

Also discussed at the meeting were possible solutions to make the road safer where the recent hit-and-run incident happened in Kinston.

Councilmember Felicia Solomon brought it up to the council that something should be done about conditions on Martin Luther King Blvd. The council members bounced around ideas about better street lighting, visible crosswalks, or reducing the speed limit.

City officials are reaching out to the NCDOT to see what can be done to make this road safer.