Franklin Township to hire part time officers


By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

The Franklin Township Police Department will have little more backup thanks to the hiring of six additional part-time officers.

At a recent meeting, the trustees unanimously approved hiring six part-time officers for the police department.

These new hires come on the toes of rescinding the laying off of two full-time officers in the township. The officers were schedule to be laid off at the end of 2015, but the township rescinded the layoffs as a result of having excess funds for the department.

The trustees approved laying off the officers in November 2015 after a 3.91-mil permanent police levy failed. If approved, the levy would have generated $585,000 a year for the police department and cost taxpayers $137 a year per $100,000 home.

According to Cook, the department can now afford to hire these additional six officers because the township will not be filling the open sergeant position.

“We are not going to have a sergeant and won’t fill that position which results in us having the funds to support this,” Cook said. “Also, they will not be paid the same wages as the full-time officers, which helps us stay in budget.”

According to Cook, the officers will be paid $12.50 an hour.

When asked how many hours the part-time officers would work, Cook said that was still being determined

“They will work on an as needed basis and will serve as a backup when full-time officers are sick or on vacation,” he said. “We need two officers on the street at all times and these part-time officers will serve as a reliable backup for full-time officers.”

The township recently approved bringing back the police department’s reserve program to back up township officers when they hit the streets. However, according to Cook, having guaranteed part-time help is necessary at this time and they can’t simply depend on reserve officers who are unpaid.

The Franklin Township Police Department has borrowed $233,839 from the general fund and has been under financial stress for the past year.

In an effort to generate more funds for the police department, the township is considering putting another levy on the fall ballot for the police department, but is still discussing this internally.

“At this point we need to see how residents feel about it,” Cook said. “Right now, we really don’t know what we are going to do.”

If the township puts another levy on the ballot it won’t be until November, as they have missed their opportunity to put a levy on the May ballot.

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