Roberts Police add coverage, not costThe Roberts Police Department is expanding its coverage without increasing costs.
By: Gretta Stark, New Richmond News
The Roberts Police Department is expanding its coverage without increasing costs.
Starting this summer the department will have close to 24-hour coverage.
“We’re running close—we’re not going to run a perfect 24/7,” said Roberts Police Chief Dan Burgess. “There are still a couple minor gaps in the schedule and we’re not in a staffing situation where we can guarantee 24/7 coverage, but our base schedule will basically cover that.”
He said the change in the schedules is due to the recent promotion of two part-time officers.
In March Officer Brian Edwards resigned from the Roberts Police Department. Part-time Officer Aaron McWilliams was promoted to fill Edwards’ full-time position. McWilliams is a four-year veteran of the department. His previous part-time schedule amounted to three quarters time.
In April Officer Todd Shafer, a two-year veteran of the department, was also promoted from part time to full time.
Burgess said by utilizing cost savings the department was able to move the three quarters positions to full-time positions without increasing the budget.
Burgess said the schedule change benefits the department and the community it serves.
“It provides a better service to the community and a lot of crime prevention at night,” he said.
Burgess said before the department started covering the night hours they saw an increase in nuisance thefts and vandalisms. He said since the department has been running patrols later in the evenings and in the early morning hours they have seen a decrease in the number of those cases.
“This is something we’ve been working towards for the last couple years. We worked with the board to try to accelerate it in part due to the Flying J project coming in,” Burgess said. “Given the fact that they will be running 24/7 we need to be a little bit more responsive with issues that may arise out there and make sure that we’ve got a presence.”
Burgess said the new schedule will start after Good Neighbor Days is over.
“We’ve got the officers in place. Todd’s first day was Monday, April 30, but he’ll be doing training with myself and the other officers through the month of May,” Burgess said.
The department’s usual full training is a three-month program, but it has been condensed since Shafer and McWilliams have already worked for the department.