FLINT TWP. — With the recent death of Officer Charles Abdella, the Flint Township Police Department asked the Flint Township Board of Trustees to authorize filling the budgeted position at the Feb. 7 meeting.
The board unanimously approved the conditional offer of employment for an entry-level officer 6-0.
Chief of Police George Sippert made an official request to the board, saying that position vacated by Abdella was budgeted in the 2011 Police Department budget. The budget includes wage expenditures for 39 sworn police personnel, including Sippert, as of Jan. 1, 2011.
Through attrition over a five-month period, the budgeted figure is reduced to 35 sworn, including Sippert, by the end of May 2011. The reduction in personnel is due to upcoming retirement of three officers, Officer Paul Green, effective March 31; Officer Jeff Hovey, effective May 31; and Sgt. John Seibel, effective May 31.
However, Sippert said that Green, Hovey and Seibel have already submitted correspondence, indicating they all plan to retire on March 26. Sgt. David Stone retired Dec. 30, 2010 but was budgeted through Jan. 31, 2011.
In his letter, Sippert said: “it is imperative that the hiring process begin immediately since it is lengthy and cumbersome. The process would make certain that the best available candidate will be employed on merit and fitness. If the hiring process were to begin immediately, the soonest that a new officer would be eligible to work alone in a patrol unit would be near the end of June. This would be three months after all of the budgeted retirements.”
Along with the entry-level officer position, Sippert asked the the board to bring back a full-time officer back to the department from the sheriff’s posse.
“When the posse began, one Flint Township officer was assigned to it, but I’m asking to pull out of the posse,” Sippert said. “Over the years, the posse has had a difficult time due to the economy, and departments have pulled out due to budget issues. It’s not due to lack of work with drug enforcement but when Officer Green retires, we need to take that posse officer back to Flint Township remote patrol.”
The board unanimously approved Sippert’s request.