Milton police committee to make recommendation to council

Town council to hear report at Aug. 5 meeting
The Ad Hoc Police Committee met in executive session for more than an hour July 29 before making a unspecified recommendation to town council. The topic is expected to be discussed in the public forum at the Monday, Aug. 5 council meeting. BY NICK ROTH
August 2, 2013

The Milton Ad Hoc Police Committee spent its entire July 29 meeting working behind closed doors, as members discussed personal information about specific officers and salaries.

Shortly after reconvening for the public, the committee voted to recommend an unspecified figure "for the officer who comes in after academy." The information will be presented to town council at its Monday, Aug. 5 meeting.

The committee discussed the department's patrol schedules and the topic of filling vacant positions and retention for more than an hour in executive session. The committee is set to meet again Monday, Aug. 19, to discuss the town's vehicle policy and responding to calls outside of town limits.

Mayor Marion Jones established the committee shortly after taking office in April. The group met for the first time in early July, but Chief William Phillips was absent due to illness. The committee is charged with analyzing the police department, including personnel needs, scheduling and the budget.

During former Mayor Cliff Newlands' administration, town council voted against hiring the International Association of Chiefs of Police to do a comparable study. The majority of council members at the time said the work could be done utilizing resources already available in town.

In the last month, the force has dropped from 10 officers to seven. Another officer is on sick leave until the end of the summer, meaning the department is operating with six officers for the next two months. The department had as many as 11 officers last year, when the town utilized a federal grant to pay for the salary and fringe benefits of one officer.

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