City increases size of police force

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Cannelton adds part-timer, 2 reservists

Managing Editor

CANNELTON – Cannelton’s Board of Public Works and Safety voted in a regular meeting May 13 to add three officers to the city’s police force and approved charges for fire protection.

Mayor Mary Snyder told the board Police Chief Lee Hall provided some options for reserves and part-time help.

“One of the reasons he’s asking for a part-time paid position is to cover the night shift when Ryan Smith works because he has no one (else) available at that time slot,” she explained. “He would like to have someone to put in that spot if Ryan was to get sick. He would work, possibly, once a month.”

Perry County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Gill was one of the options Hall recommended, “so he’s already got his credentials,” the mayor said.

Clerk-Treasurer Arvina Bozarth said money exited in the city’s budget to cover the added expense.

Hall was seeking to add two reserve officers, Snyder continued, and had received an application from county jail employee Erin Early.

“She’s very interested in it and would like to help,” Snyder said. “I think it would be good. sometimes they need a female for searches and stuff. He’s also asking for Jeff Varner, (who has) volunteered to ride the bikes.”

Works-board member and Councilwoman Lynn Fulkerson asked if the reserves would replace other officers. The department had five reserves and wanted to add two, Snyder replied.

Reserve officers aren’t paid salaries, so the only cost to the city would be for insurance, she added. “I think it’s $130 per person per year over the $150 the city pays to cover three officers.”

Early would have to be fitted for a bulletproof vest, but grant money was available to cover half that cost, she also explained.

“I know some people don’t like a lot of reserves,” she said. “As long as they stay in town and follow what they’re supposed to be doing, they have their place.”

Some are very restricted in how much time they can offer, Fulkerson said. “And they’ve got Camp with a Cop coming up,” Bozarth added, “so they’ll be needed up there.”

The latest reserves to be approved were still in training, the mayor said. They undergo a 40-hour pre-basic course, then a field-training program before being allowed to patrol on their own, Police Sgt. David Biever said. He was filling in at the meeting for Hall.

Works-board member and Councilman Melvin McBrayer said when he was mayor, “I think we had 10 or 11 reserves at one time … and it worked out quite well. I’m sure there’s always somebody who’ll say ‘what do you need that many people for?’ These guys who are on full time have to have some time off at intervals, too.”

The new reserves will be sworn at the board’s next meeting, Snyder said.