(BROWNSTOWN) - Brownstown Police Department will expand by another full-time officer.
Town council approved town Marshal Tom Hanner's request to create a full-time position for a part-time officer during their meeting Wednesday.
"I have an officer working 32 hours and I want to take him to 40," Hanner said in reference to Officer Joe Kelly, who was hired in March as a part-time officer.
Hanner said his research of the 2011 budget found the town paid its five full-time officers $248,560 in salaries in 2011. He said adding Kelly's full-time pay would bring the town's cost to $249,505 this year.
"We paid a lot in overtime costs last year," Hanner said.
Kelly's pay will remain at $16.50 an hour.
He said he would like to start a program of giving officers compensation time off instead of paying overtime.
Clerk-treasurer David Willey said the town council included funds to pay for insurance and retirement for a sixth officer two years ago, and that money remains in the budget.
In a related matter, council members discussed implementing a policy allowing officers to drive their vehicles when they are off-duty.
Hanner said it is a program that might allow for better retention of officers and that there were funds available to pay additional fuel costs.
Officers would be required to stop and assist a motorist having trouble or another officer needing assistance while off duty as part of the policy.
The council agreed to put together a policy and try it to see how much it would cost the town.
Council member Ben Lewis said he would ask that officers not use a town police car for any part-time job.
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