FLINT TWP. — Four new police officers will start work on October 5, returning staffing levels to nearly full strength, said Police Chief George Sippert.
The department currently has 33 sworn officers and is budgeted for 40, Chief Sippert said.
The township board approved the hiring of four new entry-level officers at its Monday, September 21, meeting.
They are Taylor Johnson, Daren Hawley, Jeremy Meiser and Barry Wascher.
Johnson is a graduate of Grand Blanc High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University including his police academy training. He completed an internship with the Flushing Township Police Department. This will be his first job in law enforcement.
Hawley also graduated from Ferris State with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice that included police academy training. He is a graduate of Kearsley High School. He currently works as a part-time officer for Genesee Township and the City of Clio.
Meiser is a graduate of Clio High School. He holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Baker College and graduated from the Oakland Police Academy. He is currently employed as a part-time officer in Genesee Township, New Lothrop and the City of Flushing.
Wascher is a graduate of Millington High School. He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Alpena Community College and is a graduate of the Delta Police Academy. He currently is employed as a full-time officer in the Oscoda Township Police Department where he has worked for more than two years.
All four men have passed background checks, physical and psychological exams and drug tests, Chief Sippert said.
The new hires were drawn from an updated, certified list of eligible candidates created by the township Civil Service Commission which has conducted new entry-level tests during the past 18 months, Chief Sippert said.
Hiring also was made possible by funds generated from the passing of a Public Safety Millage last November.
“This brings us to (a staff of) 37,” Chief Sippert said. He added that he hopes to fill three remaining openings by December or early January, after the recent hires complete field training. Four new officers is about the maximum number that can be hired at one time and managed by field training officers, he said.
He added that one veteran officer also is retiring soon, leaving only one other officer eligible for retirement. Since 2010, several officers have retired from the department, taking with them a combined total of more than 360 years of police experience, Chief Sippert has said.