Archive for Thursday, August 10, 2006

Chief’s reorganization plan falls flat

Saying new structure is important to residents’ safety, Horner plans to ask council again for approval

August 10, 2006

A change in structure within the police department is something Basehor Police Chief Terry W. Horner thinks the city needs.

In a presentation to the city council Monday night, Horner discussed the police department and his plan for reorganization.

"Currently, the Basehor Police Department is operating off a chief and a corporal," he said.

Horner said he would like to remove the rank of corporal and add a lieutenant under the chief.

There is also a vacancy within the police department for a sergeant. Horner said he wants to continue to try to fill this vacant position and add another sergeant position. The new chain of command under the reorganization would be chief, followed by the lieutenant then the two sergeants.

Horner showed council members charts of five area cities that use the lieutenant and sergeant rank and file. He also included the cities' population and number of employees, and he discussed salaries in those cities. He presented information on Tonganoxie, Pleasant Valley, Lansing, Bonner Springs and Parkville, Mo.

"This is for the betterment of the community," Horner said to the council. "The chief and the corporal obviously can't handle it right now."

Horner said the department's budget currently has $68,700 to cover the corporal and sergeant's salaries. By eliminating the corporal position, adding another sergeant and lowering each sergeant's pay from $37,100 to $33,900 per year, it would save the city $900 a year.

"We would be getting two sergeants for less than our current corporal and sergeant police budget," he said.

The proposed wage for the lieutenant would be between $37,000 and $39,000, which Horner said is also in the budget.

"The proposed plan would not increase the police budget," he said. "I'm not asking for any more money."

The council decided to discuss the matter in executive session. Council member Terry Thomas made a motion after executive session to approve the two sergeants, excluding the lieutenant. The motion died due to the lack of a second from Iris Dysart, John Bonee or Bill Hooker. Mayor Chris Garcia and council member Keith Sifford were not present. No other motions were made.

Horner was disappointed with the outcome and said he plans to present his request to the council again.

"It was just a total roadblock," Horner said. "We're not reinventing the wheel here, I'm just trying to lay a foundation and structure for the future. We'll have to revisit it on a later date."

In other action Monday night, the council:

  • Agreed, 4-0, to table consideration of an interlocal agreement among the city, Jeffrey Theno and Leavenworth County, providing for treatment of wastewater.
  • Agreed, 4-0, to defer annexation of Theno Estates until more information is received.
  • Approved, 4-0, spending up to $60,000 to replace damaged pump assemblies at the primary lift station on 163rd Street.
  • Approved, 4-0, to authorize an exception to Pinehurst Retail for neighborhood revitalization application. The neighborhood revitalization program provides property owners with tax rebates as an incentive to rehabilitate an area and encourage economic growth. Property owners must apply for the program within 60 days of obtaining a building permit.
  • Approved, 4-0, to hire a part time receptionist for the administrative department.
  • Approved, 4-0, on the contingency of annexation, to rezone property located in the 15600 and 15700 block of Evans Road, to be known as Cedar Lake, phase five, from R-O suburban residential to R-1 single-family residential and preliminary plat.
  • Approved, 4-0, amendments to planning commission by-laws.
  • Approved, 3-1, with Dysart opposed, the 2007 budget.

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