Officer shortage

Usually, two less means there would be a savings.

That is not the case with the Whitehall Police Department.

“When we went from five to four full-time officers, there was a little bit of a cost savings,” said Police Chief Matthew Dickinson at the April 6 village board meeting. “When we went from four to three, there was no savings at all because of the overtime that we have been paying.”

Dickinson said that the drop in two full-time police officers resulted from a pair of recent departures, one to Waterford in December and the second to Granville last month.

“In the last six months, we have lost these two full-time officers,” said Dickinson. “Dickie (LaChapelle) and I have been working with the schedules to keep everything full with minimal coverage.”

The department’s most recent loss of Mark Morrill to Granville came seven months after the officer had graduated from training. Because of that, Dickinson said that the department should be able to get money from Granville to “recoup” what they paid in his training and wages.

“Under General Municipal Law, we have a three year time period from the time that he was trained that we can collect on,” said Dickinson. “Mark graduated in July and was gone seven months later, so we can recoup 83-percent of all his training expenses and salary from Granville.”

Dickinson also said that he is looking into doing the same with another officer.

“We have a problem retaining officers,” added Dickinson. “It’s a money thing and it has always been a money thing. As far as trained officer, no one is knocking down the door to come here.”

Dickinson requested that the village board hire Daniel Price, a resident of the village, to fill one of the full time positions.

“H is not trained at the moment, but I believe that he is qualified,” said Dickinson .”He has served three tours in Iraq and will be receiving his second degree in criminal justice.”

Trustee Mike LaChapelle said that he was concerned that bringing another un-trained officer in would lead to the same problems as before.

“We send these people to school, the village pays for it and then they leave holding us with the bill,” said LaChapelle.

Dickinson responded that he hoped hiring someone who lived locally would help in keeping them from leaving.

“They may not stay, and I can’t guarantee that anyone would stay,” said Dickinson. “but maybe, if you get a local kid with the connection to the village and the area, maybe that would stay here.”

Mayor Francis “Fra” Putorti asked Dickinson if the decision could wait until the April 20 meeting of the board.

“Yeah, but I really want to get the ball rolling on this by then,” replied Dickinson.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

Torres will coach – again

20160726_181520

By Krystle S. Morey After a months-long process of back-and-forth appointments, rescinded hires and resignations, Mario Torres has been named […]

500 alumni attend Whitehall All-Class Reunion

DSC_0556

By Dan King Alumni from 19 states and two foreign countries made their way to Whitehall for the Whitehall High […]

Local couple to reopen Scotties’

Mark and Edie Pickard of Granville purchased Scotties’, a long-time diner and gift shop on Main Street, last week. The couple plans to preserve the atmosphere of the former Scotties’.

By Krystle S. Morey After about six months of negotiations, Scotties’ has been sold – and to a local couple. […]

Hicks tasked with reuniting school board

School Board President Audrey Hicks was reelected Monday, July 11. She is pictured here being sworn in at the board’s reorganizational meeting.

By Krystle S. Morey Focusing on academics, improving the graduation rate and boosting student participation are just a few things […]

Classifieds 07/27/16

Lakes Region Freepress – 07/22/16

Northshire Freepress – 07/22/16

Weekender – 07/22/16

North Country Freepress – 07/22/16

Lakes Classifieds – 07/22/16

Classifieds 07/20/16

Granville to pursue $30K Rail Trail planning grant

Rail Trail

By Krystle S. Morey The Granville Town Board voted unanimously at its meeting last Thursday to be the lead agency […]