Brownwood City Council members agreed Tuesday to a plan to pay police academy recruits who will then be obligated to work for the Brownwood Police Depart-ment for two years.

The city will pay recruits’ academy tuition — about $1,600 — and pay a monthly salary of $2,300. That won’t apply to every person in the West Central Texas County of Government academy, which is taught in Brownwood — just to those who will fill existing vacancies, police and city officials said.

A recruit who does not complete two years of employment will be required to reimburse the city part or all of the cost of the tuition and other expenses related to training, depending on the length of the employment, according to a training reimbursement agreement.

Officials said it’s a way to try to increase the number of police applicants. Police have had trouble filling the four vacancies currently in the department. Numerous other communities in Texas are using the program, officials said.

The Brownwood department has four openings. Twenty applicants took the civil service written exam, 16 passed and 15 passed the physical agility test, City Manager Bobby Rountree said. They still face oral interviews and psychological exams.

In other business, council members:

Approved on first reading an ordinance to close two alleys in the Garrett Addition and First Street between Schroeder Lane and Willis Creek. Approved the Jaycee Christmas Parade, which begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 30. Approved closing Center Avenue from East Baker to Chandler from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 30 for a community celebration in conjunction with the Christmas Parade. Approved an ordinance changing the speed limit on market Place Boulevard from 30 mph to 40 mph beginning 1,450 feet north of Clements Street to Houston Street. Approved a resolution designating city-owned property and surplus and authorizing the disposition of same. Approved on first reading an ordinance establishing a Park and Recreation Advisory Board and setting their duties and responsibilities.