Tipp City aims to bolster police department so officers face less clerk work

Growing administrative requirements affect how much time police officers spend on the streets

Tipp City Police Chief Greg Adkins wants to add two positions to help the department get more officers back on the street.

In a discussion with City Council members May 20, Adkins explained a department strategic plan to hire an additional civilian records clerk and add a police captain position to the department.

“Across the board, our agency needs a little help,” Adkins said. “We (staff) are being tasked with more and more.”

Today, the department has an officer who works on the streets assigned to tasks in the office that a civilian employee could take care of, such as court filings, records releases, video camera redactions needed to fulfill public records requests and overseeing the department property room and evidence. Today, the department has one full-time and one part-time civilian records clerk. The proposed new position has the title police specialist but would be paid the same as a records clerk.

Most police agencies have a civilian who handles these tasks. In addition, because of growing requirements and caseloads, the department deputy chief handles much of the work associated with crime victims covered by the state’s Marsy’s Law.

The department now has 24.5 approved positions — the chief, deputy chief, 1.5 civilian records clerks, five sergeants and 16 police officers (which includes two School Resource Officers and the DARE officer who is retiring this fall).

The pay for a captain would be roughly $90,000 a year plus benefits, and the civilian employee would be $57,298 (top pay) plus benefits, said John Green, city finance director.

Council members did not object to the proposal. Council President Kathryn Huffman suggested council wait until a new city manager is on board before moving forward with any plan, to ensure the new manager has input.

Councilman John Kessler said there was no need for delay. He advocated allowing Adkins to initiate the process of filling positions, as it could take until fall for hirings.

“I would like to see personnel doing what we are expect them to do,” Kessler said.

Council said Adkins can move forward with the initial steps needed in the hiring process, and council will vote on the plan when reappropriations are done later this year.

Council is expected to hire a new city manager this month. Current City Manager Tim Eggleston is retiring June 28.

“We are a service-oriented service. People expect us to give them the service,” Adkins said. “We want to do that, but we can’t at this rate.”

Contact this contributing write at nancykburr@aol.com

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