|Council Approves New Officer|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 07 November 2012 00:00|
Tipp City Council gave Police Chief Tom Davidson the verbal go-ahead Monday to hire another officer, a move that will bring the department up to full staffing for the first time since 2010.
Davidson said he hopes to have the officer hired around Dec. 2 so the 12-week field training process with another officer can begin.
The police department asked for enough money in its 2013 budget to return to full staffing. Personnel expenses take up more than 90 percent of the department budget, which is proposed at round $2.5 million next year.
A full police department staff includes the chief, five sergeants, 13 police officers, one records supervisor and three records clerks (one part-time).
The department has not been at full staffing because the hiring of new officers was delayed when officers were promoted to fill sergeant positions created by retirements the past couple of years.
The department staffing now is down two people – with one vacancy and one officer serving in the military. The military service commitment will continue into next year, with Officer Nick Creech’s return projected in February.
Davidson provided council with some operations numbers such as having two-officer staffing of a shift now 9.5 percent of the time and three-officer staffing at 72.6 percent of the time. Overtime hours this year are up at 1,746 compared to 1,087 in 2011.
Beyond the cost of overtime is the impact of continued overtime demands on the officers, Davidson said.
Sgt. Eric Burris said officers more frequently pass on overtime when offered. The officers, he said, are tired. “Right now, it is really hard to fill the slots,” Burris said.
The cost for a new officer over one year is $87,086 for wages, benefits and uniform and equipment. The initial cost for the uniform and equipment is $5,700.
Council members supported the request. “You have to consider how hard they are working,” Mayor Dee Gillis said of the current staff.
Councilman Mike McDermott said if the department returns to full strength it would be reasonable to expect less use of overtime.
Davidson said it would reasonable for people to expect the department’s overtime rate to return to 2010 when the department was last up to a full staff.
Cost of an additional officer for Tipp City Police Department
(Source: City of Tipp City Police Department)
Starting pay: $47,424
Projected overtime: $4,031
Holiday pay: $3,192
Police pension: $10,656
Workers comp: $1,475
Soc. Sec. and Medicare: $792
Health insurance: $13,748
Life insurance: $67
Uniform & equipment: $5,700
Total first year cost: $87,086