Township board OKs entry level police officer

FLINT TWP. — Michael David Schuyler is on track to become the township’s newest police officer.

A conditional officer of employment to Schuyler was approved Monday night by the township board, to fill a budgeted opening created in October by the termination of officer Matthew Needham for violation of work rules.

Police Chief George Sippert, in keeping with concerns raised by township trustees at its Dec. 17 meeting, said that Schuyler had been made fully aware that his employment status is contingent on the outcome of a grievance filed by Needham to get his job back.

Needham previously was terminated in November 2011, also for violation of work rules, but successfully appealed through binding arbitration and returned to the township police force in June 2012, after a seven-month unpaid disciplinary suspension.

Sippert told the board last month that Needham’s grievance process can take several months.

Meantime, Sippert said that Schuyler has enrolled in the Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy and will begin training on Monday.

His hiring as an entry-level police officer also is effective Jan. 14.

Schuyler already has passed a physical examination, drug test and psychological evaluation and also successfully completed a pre-employment background check, Sippert said.

Schuyler has an associate’s degree in paralegal/psychology from Lansing Community College and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University, Sippert said.

In additional to successfully completing five months of training at the police academy, Schuyler must also complete about three months of field training followed by 12 months of probation.

Sippert has also previously stated that should Needham get his job back a job opening for Schuyler still may be created by the potential retirement of an officer in June.

The township police is budgeted in 2013 for 35 full-time officers. Schuyler’s name as an eligible candidate for the job opening was provided by the township’s civil service commission in compliance with P.A. Act 78.

The employment officer also states that Schuyler will be reimbursed costs for attending the training academy after 24 months on the job as a certified police officer.

Some trustees have raised questions about officer retention after the township has born the expense of training them. Sippert said that a required length-of-service stipulation had been investigated and determined that the police department cannot legally require an officer to remain with the department for a stated length of timebefore seeking employment elsewhere.

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