Tipp City Police Chief Eric Burris said he proposed a new position of deputy police chief for several reasons, but the biggest was to reduce sergeants’ administrative office tasks to spend more time on the street with officers
“I think the first-line supervisor is the most critical position in a police department. The first-line supervisor should be actively supervising the officers assigned to their shift,” Burris said.
“They should be providing assistance and guidance to our patrol personnel, helping to develop their decision-making skills and directing situations that otherwise might not be handled as well as possible,” he said.
Burris discussed the change earlier this year with the city council, at the fall operating budget discussion and then again recently.
The position is included in the proposed 2019 city budget as well as in city positions update ordinance that also includes the new combined position of fire/EMS chief.
Three of five department sergeants took a promotional exam for deputy chief in late October.
The department sergeants are assigned administrative tasks in addition to their supervisory duties. Among the administrative tasks are payroll, scheduling, training, fleet management, camera data management, community resource liaison and detention area compliance.
Burris said the change would mean all sergeants would have the same level of responsibility.
“This also helps to solve some problems. Right now, we always have one sergeant directing others,” he said.
For example, the sergeant who schedules is the one who tells others when they work and the one who schedules training telling others when they and their personnel will be in training.
“Sometimes that rubs some of the other ones the wrong way,” Burris said.
The person selected as deputy chief also would not automatically become chief when Burris retires because of the promotion process. He said, however, succession needs to be explored because he has reached retirement age/years of service. He doesn’t plan to retire for three to five years, Burris said.
He emphasized the proposed addition of the deputy chief was not due to an increase in crime.
“Our crime rates are relatively low,” he said.
Proposed 2019 Tipp City Police Department staffing:
1 Deputy Chief (new)
4 patrol sergeants
1 detective sergeant
14 police officers including 12 patrol, one detective, one DARE officer
1 records supervisor
1 part-time records clerk
Contact this contributing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org
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