Chief William Wilson told members of the town board last Friday that he intends to downsize certain units within the department and transfer those personnel to the detectives' division.
Wilson said the division is understaffed due to attrition; there are only five detectives on staff currently, plus one detective sergeant who oversees the unit. He told board members he would like to add three or four new detectives, possibly transferring them from the Community Response Unit and the Street Crime Unit. Wilson did not return phone calls asking for comment this week, and during the meeting he did not specify how many officers would be transferred from each unit.
“We have one detective carrying 114 cases, and the others have between 60 and 70 cases,” he said, adding that the cases are all felonies and run the gamut from credit card fraud to sexual assault. “I would like to get to where they each only have 40 cases.”
Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming asked Wilson how morale was in the detectives' division, considering the staffing issues.
“I think the infusion of new blood will be a welcome change,” he said. “They've been running short for quite some time.”
Wilson also noted that due to attrition, come September there will only be 92 sworn officers in the entire department, down from 105 officers in 2008. One of the retiring officers will be Det. Sgt. Randy Hintze, who oversaw the detectives' division.
He said he does not intend to hire additional officers in the near future, but the board should keep in mind.
Later in his presentation, Wilson asked for permission to seek bids , expected to cost about $20,000 each. He said the vehicles would replace two other rusting vehicles with high mileage and problematic mechanics. The purchases were necessary to ensure the safety of the officers, he said.
Members of the board agreed to allow Wilson to call for bids.