Police chief asks for more officers
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURNâ€”Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith wants the village to restore Police Department staffing to nine full-time officers, and create three new part-time police positions.
On Monday, Smith asked the Public Safety Committee to recommend including the additional Police Department salary expenditures in the village’s 2009-10 budget.
The department has had eight full-time officers since the village promoted Smith to police chief in May. Under the previous police chief, Jim Linane, Smith was the department’s commander; that position is now vacant.
Smith said by filling the full-time vacancy, the department’s three patrol shifts would be staffed by full-time officers at a level that has existed for four years, which he said is necessary to ensure officer safety and response time.
Smith also said he wants to add three more police officers to the department’s part-time staff, which currently has eight officers.
Smith cited several reasons he wants to increase the number of part-time police. He said the availability of the department’s current part-time officers is becoming more limited due to the requirements of their full-time jobs elsewhere.
In addition, the village’s police responsibilities have increased, he said. For example, this year, the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Management Agency will not be able to help with police services during the Elburn Days festival, because the officers will be needed at the Solheim Cup in Sugar Grove the same weekend, Aug. 21-23.
â€œI’d like to bring in experienced part-time officers for Elburn Days,â€ he said.
Community Development Director David Morrison agreed with Smith.
â€œThe cost is minimal, and in the interest of public safety, I would recommend it,â€ Morrison said.
The cost for three more part-time officers would be up to $900 for uniforms plus an average pay of $20 hour, with no overtime or benefits, Smith said.
Depending upon experience, the additional full-time officer would be paid between $46,362 and $53,670 with benefits, Smith said.
The committee agreed to recommend the budget allocation, but it will be the Village Board’s decision whether to increase police staffing when it approves the new budget before July 31.
Current staffingâ€”Elburn Police Department
â€¢ Full-time Police Chief
â€¢ Part-time Deputy Chief
â€¢ One full-time investigation officer
â€¢ Two full-time patrol sergeants
â€¢ Four full-time officers
â€¢ Eight part-time officers