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New Police Officer Hire Approved

Local law enforcement losing one member to early retirement, another to short-term disability.

Washington Township will move forward with the hiring of a new police officer now that the department is losing one member to retirement and another for the short term due to a medical procedure.

Police Chief Michael Bailey presented the department's needs to the township committee Monday night at the governing body’s regular meeting, explaining how lean the department was becoming.

“We’re losing one officer to permanent disability, early retirement due to an incident that occurred here in town, and another will be out four to five months for shoulder surgery,” Bailey said. “On top of that, we have three senior officers scheduled to retire in the next two years.”

Bailey, who is one of those senior officers scheduled to retire, requested the township consider bringing in two officers to begin filling the void that is being opened on the squad.

The process, however, isn’t a simple one. The department will now begin running tests for candidates. Once those tests results are complete, he or she will then go through the police academy.

At the earliest, a full time officer would not be patrolling Washington Township until June of 2013, Bailey said.

Four of the five committeemen–James LiaBraaten was absent–gave the go ahead to Bailey to begin the search. One committeeman thought it would be prudent to take an additional step.

Dave Kennedy, a former police captain, recommended the department come up with a list of potential candidates so that testing can be ready in the case that need be addressed again in the future.

“We should have a list (of potential candidates) ready,” Kennedy said. “There aren’t many places hiring, but there are plenty of qualified candidates out there right now.”

"We should definitely begin the search for one, and most likely look for two (officers)," Vice Mayor and police commissioner Bill Roehrich said. "Working with these guys and seeing what they're doing... We're getting close to the bone here."

Short term pain, long term gain

In the meantime, the 28-member police force will be down two full time officers. It’s already been shorthanded since March, when the officer going into early retirement was injured in the line of duty.

Until a new officer is added, current staff members will be needed to cover additional shifts, which will force overtime payments to mount.

“My concern is the overtime,” Mayor Ken Short said. “(The overtime) is going to be more expensive than the actual salary of an officer.”

Under contract, police officers receive time and-a-half pay for going beyond their shift or covering other shifts when necessary. 

The recently awarded PBA contract states that a new Washington Township police officer beginning in 2013 after completing the academy will receive a starting salary of $48,889.

The testing process for a new candidate will begin immediately. 

stacie bohr September 21, 2012 at 09:44 PM
And I should care that I'm not in the majority, why? Actually, other people may have thought so but don't have the guts to say it. Liberty, I'm not looking to win a popularity contest. I didn't feel that was a right comment and that's it. If you're okay with that and would be okay having someone making a comments such as that to your daughter, good for you. I would not be and teach her to stand up for herself. Have a nice weekend.
12345678 September 21, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Liberty, I thought it was a sexist remark too, but like you, I realize comments like that will be made, whether it's to my face or behind my back. I can easily ignore them. Stacie, while I can respect your fight for equality, I think you will always find yourself disappointed if you "expect" a fair and equal world. One of the first things I teach my own children is that life is not fair and they have to learn to deal with it.
Chuck Ruff September 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Stacie, a bit of advice from someone who has been in the corp world for many years… your daughter might not be well served by teaching her to run to HR every time she overhears someone say something that offends her. People say stupid things in the office, just as they say stupid things on the internet, and sometimes you have to choose your battles. Also, HR depts are rarely the knights in shining armor that you may think they are. They are often bureaucratic black holes where complaints get lost in the mire. It’s better to teach your daughter how to deal with things herself.
stacie bohr September 22, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I get what your saying, Hook and 1234. I really wasn't saying that I would suggest my daughter run to HR every time something is said that rubs her the wrong way. I would venture to guess, though that if one so freely posts such a remark for the world to read, chances are that attitude and behavior happens more than on the Patch. But I get your point, guys.
12345678 September 22, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Stacie, no doubt his attitude carries over into everyday life.

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