Administrative Asst.position still on hold

 

IMLAY CITY — It continues to be a case of hurry up and wait for the Imlay City Police Department.

Police Chief Brett Selby has been requesting additional staffing, both in the office and on the road, for several weeks. At last week’s city commission meeting, there was some progress made and the Chief is hoping for more in the coming weeks.

Chief Brett Selby

At the meeting, Chief Selby discussed items from the March 19 commission meeting, including staffing.

Since the departure of Administrative Assistant Denise Kovacik earlier this year, the department sought candidates to replace her.

About a month after she left, the former city employee indicated she would like to return to her position in the police department.

The city commission had earlier instructed Chief Selby to interview candidates and four were scheduled. However, only two followed through with the interviews, and Chief Selby made his recommendation last week.

According to draft minutes of the meeting, the Chief said after a point calculated scoring, the number one candidate was Kovacik, “hands down.”

Mayor Joi Kempf told fellow commission members she had new information that has become available, but the city attorney was not available to share the information last week.

A final decision on the hiring was delayed yet again as the city continues to negotiate with a possible formation of city staff wanting to create an office union, including Kovacik.

Chief Selby asked Kovacik, who was in the audience, to speak regarding a time frame of when she could start the position. She told the commission she could start “very soon” and requested she be able to come back to the position with her previous seniority.

Chief Selby then spoke to the commission regarding his second item, the need for an extended budget resolution to fill two police officer positions.

He said one comes as a result of an impending retirement in May of 2024 of a patrol officer while the second is a position that has been left unfilled since Chief Selby had arrived in 2021.

It was pointed out that the citizens have spoken regarding no new taxes for the City Public Safety Department in the amount of 46 cents to 48 cents per day for a millage to fund this needed position.

Chief Selby stated, “so we are looking for alternate ways to approach this, including DDA capture funds and grant funding available.”

He said the cost to outfit an officer is approximately $6,000. The overtime bleed that is currently taking place is extensive due to shortage of officers.

Sergeant Leathers continued explaining the difficulty in scheduling when an officer takes a vacation week or is needed in court or other obligations, and it causes a severe shortage.

Chief Selby told the commission he is looking for $45,500, plus a grant and the DDA capture funds of $26,000 to help in funding the new officer.

Mayor Kempf, who is also part of the Imlay City DDA, said the board voted to capture their tax amount that was designated for the sheriff department in the amount of $26,000.

“The board decided it would be good to use the money locally. The tax money is still going for law enforcement, just not at the county level, but here locally,” Kempf explained.

After commissioners asked the Chief several questions, they voted to approve the new hire and will consider further action at an upcoming meeting.