Police, fire candidates offered jobs

FLINT TWP. — The township board approved employment offers to one police officer and six on-call firefighters at its meeting Monday night.

The request to make a conditional offer of employment to one entry level police officer came from Police Chief George Sippert, who said a candidate has been selected from the civil service hiring list.

That candidate still must pass a background check and physical and psychological exams before being made a firm offer — hopefully by the board’s first meeting in January, Sippert said.

He also said that the candidate has to attend five months of training at the police academy followed by about three months of field training.

Sippert requested the new hire to restore the force to 35 sworn officers budgeted in 2013. There have been only 34 officers since Officer Matthew Needham was terminated in October for violation of work rules.

Trustee Frank Kasle asked if Needham was appealing his termination which, if successful, could push the staff size over budget. Needham successfully appealed through binding arbitration a previous termination last November and returned to his job in June, after a seven-month unpaid disciplinary suspension.

Sippert confirmed that Needham is again appealing his termination, a process that can take several months. He said it would be made clear to the new hire that the job might not be available if Needham appeals successfully and has to be reinstated.

Sippert also said that another officer has indicated that he might retire in June which also would make room for an additional new officer.

Trustee Belenda Parker asked Sippert to make sure that the conditional hire understands that the position hinges on the outcome of Needham’s appeal.

Sippert said the candidate has made plans to attend the police academy regardless of whether the township ultimately hires him.

Fire Chief John Ringwelski also brought to the board a request to move six on-call firefighters from conditional employment to probationary status.

Faced with a dwindling on-call force, the department made conditional offers to eight new firefighters in October. The new recruits had to meet several requirements including medical, fitness and drug testing.

After hiring, they still must complete training required by the Michigan Firefighters Training Council.

Ringwelski requested that six of the conditionally hired firefighters be bumped up to probationary status. He also asked to rescind the conditional offer made to one on-call recruit. The board approved both requests.

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