Liberty police force short on manpower

September 03, 2003|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

LIBERTY - The city is faced with a police shortage again. One officer is on medical leave, another is scheduled for National Guard training, one is at the police academy for training, and another is on administrative leave.

By the weekend, the only officer to patrol the town will be Police Chief Ron Whited and he cannot handle it without help.

The City Council went to a 30-minute executive session during a special called meeting Tuesday to discuss personnel but took no action after the session. It did not say whether the session was about police personnel but discussed the matter afterwards.

Mayor Steve Sweeney said the issues deal with an officer on medical leave and others off for various reasons. Sgt. Joey Miller left Tuesday on a medical leave and will be off at least six or eight weeks.


"We need to consider different options to make sure we're covered," said Sweeney. He said the city can hire part-time help or ask Casey County Sheriff's Department for help.

If another officer is hired, money will have to be budgeted for the salary, he said.

Whited told the council the city will be covered by three police officers until Saturday. Brian Allen is off this week from the police academy but will return next week and finish classes in December. After that, it will be Whited and Steve Garrett, who will take a week off later this month for military training. The chief said the sheriff's department doesn't have enough help either. It also has one deputy in training.

"We have constables," said Councilman Larry Bowmer. He said the city can ask them to help out.

Sweeney wants to think about transferring funds for the police department before hiring anyone. "We need to give this careful consideration," he said. "We will not leave Ron hanging on a limb."

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