Jeff council okays adding patrol position

jefferson-pdThe Jefferson police department will add one uniformed patrolman to bring the force up to eight, a level of staffing the department hasn’t had since budget cuts required a reduction in force in 2003.

The Jefferson city council approved the addition at the Nov. 22 regular meeting. Chief Mark Clouse had presented information to the council last month showing that an increase in the number of calls for service and in the number of criminal cases justify adding another officer.

Currently, Clouse, captain Heath Enns, and five patrolmen comprise the department. Clouse said the increased case work put the department in a reactive mode, responding only to what already happened, rather than being on proactive – on patrol and preventing crimes from being committed.

“Adding another officer will allow us to be proactive, and that’s where I want us to be” Clouse said Tuesday.

Starting wage will be $37,146, with one-time equipment cost of $2,932 and estimated holiday pay and court time adding another$2,980. Total cost is $43,059 plus benefits estimated at $17,000 to $20,000.

Clouse provided timelines and budget figures for posting an opening immediately or waiting until the new fiscal year starts July 1. The city council, upon recommendation of the law enforcement committee, approved the shorter timeline. The current year budget will be amended to include the equipment cost and half the salary cost.

Clouse will post the vacancy immediately and hopes to begin interviewing candidates Jan. 3. Even with a Jan. 30 start date, the new officer will not be fully trained and certified until mid-November of next year.

The new officer will be the third hired in less than a year. Clouse told the council that Shane Jones, hired last March, will complete the Law Enforcement Academy and will be certified as of Dec. 16. Kyle Terlouw, who was hired in August, will attend the academy starting Jan. 9. He is now in field training in Jefferson.

Police sergeant named- The council also approved the recommendation of Clouse and the law enforcement committee to promote officer Jason Kroeger to the position of sergeant. Kroeger joined the department in 2003. The promotion is effective Dec. 1 and carries a salary of $48,902 annually.

Of the five patrol officers eligible for the promotion, four submitted letters of interest, Clouse said. Council member Harry Ahrenholtz reported that he sat in on the interviews and that the applicants were all “stellar.”

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