Luther Police Chief David Randall got approval to hire a part-time officer at the February Town Board Meeting.
The $10 an hour position will augment the coverage of the Town with the current staff, and four new reserve officers, Randall said. He lobbied for the part-time position instead of a full-time replacement created by the termination of Sgt. Mike Oliver, to have room in the budget to give raises to the other officers.
“A few of my guys were promised raises. Nobody has received a raise in two years,” he told the Board. “Truthfully, they’re being courted by other departments. I can’t lose these guys. We have bonded beyond belief.”
“I feel we have such a great product to give to Luther. I would hate to shake it up right now,” said Chief Randall.
Police LIaison Paxton Cavin told the board that hiring the part-time position would be less than what the position was slated for in the budget. “They have brought us their best solution. This is what was proposed with what they can work with within their department,” she said.
Mayor Jenni White said the additional part-time officer would allow Officer Justin Blackwell to return to code enforcement and animal control duties.
“If we do code enforcement, not that I want him out writing hundreds of dollars of tickets, but I’m saying there’s a little to be made there as well as getting the town back into shape. To me, it’s a positive to get a half-time officer. It’s worth it to me,” she said.
As part of the discussion, Chief Randall updated the board about ten puppies Officer Blackwell retrieved from under a house. While the mother dog is “elusive,” he said, Blackwell is bottle feeding the litter. Town Clerk Kim Bourns then reminded the board they were veering off agenda (but puppies!) and returned to the part-time officer item.
The board approved the hiring of the part-time officer at a pay rate of $10 an hour.
The board also received the monthly stat report from the police department (see graphic), discussed repairs to a police vehicle, and shared the costs for a future big purchase of new radios to comply with upcoming radio frequency changes.