Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Council approves police chief’s departmental restructuring

June 6, 2007

With a revised plan and a new City Council, Basehor Police Chief Terry W. Horner has received approval for a departmental restructuring he's been seeking for nearly a year.

Horner first brought a police department restructuring plan to the council on Aug. 7, 2006. The plan sought to remove the corporal position, add a lieutenant, fill the vacant sergeant position and add another sergeant. At the time, Council member Terry Thomas made a motion to approve the two sergeants, but not the lieutenant. The motion died due to a lack of a second, and no other motions were made.

The proposal at Monday night's meeting was a little different.

"Some time ago, our sergeant retired early," Horner said. "Money for the sergeant position is still sitting in the budget."

With this money, Horner said, a lieutenant position could be created and both the vacant sergeant and new lieutenant positions could be filled by promoting officers from within the department.

Current police detective Lloyd Martley would be promoted to lieutenant and investigator while the current corporal, Greg Hallgrimson, would be promoted to sergeant, Horner said. The $10,984 in the budget allotted for the vacant sergeant position will be split between the two positions, with 60 percent -- $6,590 -- going to the lieutenant and 40 percent -- $4,394 -- going to the sergeant for promotional raises.

"We will be getting two supervisors for the cost of one," Horner said. "Therefore, what I'm asking is to not only promote a sergeant that we've been lacking for a year and a half, but to add a lieutenant under the chief."

Current full-time officers who meet the requirements for the corporal position will have the opportunity to go through competitive testing including written and physical agility tests, followed by an interview process for a chance to earn the corporal position.

Horner said with a staff of 21, he would like to see one supervisor for every five or six police employees. The proposed rank structure would achieve his goal.

"This rank structure will enhance employee accountability," he said.

The restructuring plan was met with little opposition from the council. Council member Jim Washington asked that the job description for the sergeant be corrected to include that the sergeant reports to the lieutenant instead of directly to the chief of police. Thomas also commented that officers in the organizational chart presented to council look as though they are under the direct supervision of the lieutenant when they should be under the sergeant and corporal. The council then voted, 4-0, to approve the proposed rank structure and wages for the police department with the small changes requested.

Council member Keith Sifford was absent from the meeting.

Horner said he thinks the proposal was passed this time because there is a better understanding of the needs of the department and the city of Basehor.

"Some things take time and I think as the city continues to grow and develop, there seems to be more of an open mind that we not only need to grow with personnel, but in rank structure as well," he said. "There is also military experience on the council now and they are abreast of what rank and file consists of."

As for the officers chosen for promotions, Horner said his decisions were based on experience, the intent to stay in Basehor and excellent productivity.

"I think they're going to do a great job," he said. "They've been an asset to the city, and I think they need to be rewarded."

The reorganization plan went into effect Tuesday; testing for the corporal position is set to begin June 16.

In other action Monday night, the council:

  • Tabled, 4-0, a decision for sewer and solid waste delinquent accounts until the June 18 meeting.
  • Approved, 4-0, a 60-day temporary occupancy at 2722 N. 155th St., as requested by Dennis Mertz, J.E.D. Installation.
  • Approved, 3-2, with Iris Dysart and Washington opposed and mayor Chris Garcia breaking the tie vote, a contract for an insurance risk management study as submitted by Charlesworth and Associates.
  • Approved, 4-0, the medical insurance contract for 2007-08.
  • Approved, 4-0, the policy on sewer user charges for subdivisions with swimming pools maintained by homeowners associations. The vacant rate of $9.71 will be charged nine months out of the year while the base rate of $37.86 will be charged the other four months.
  • Approved, 4-0, payment to District Court for condemnation proceedings pertaining to 147th Street and Parallel Road Street Improvement Project.
  • Approved, 4-0, the Neighborhood Revitalization application for property located at 2940 N. 155th St., as submitted by property owner Lonna Denning.
  • Met in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel.

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