SHEFFIELD -- With a veteran core of officers, the local police department is shoring up its reserves to ensure public safety year-round.
Sheffield Police Chief Eric Munson is in the process of creating a new "auxiliary department." These volunteer officers would be used to help during catastrophes and special events.
"We want to make sure we have good quality officers, whether they are full- or part-time officers," he said.
The creation of an auxiliary department was approved last week by the Board of Selectmen.
The Sheffield Police Department has six-full time officers with all having served more than six years -- allowing them expanded benefits including vacation and other forms of time off, Munson said.
There are 10 reserve officers to fill in for full-time officers, but they have varying availability. The reserve core would include those with more flexible schedules, while the new auxiliary department would include officers with less flexible schedules who could be available for special occasions.
"We only have four of the 10 who are able to fill shifts on a regular basis," Munson said.
The department is searching for four new reserve officers following the creation of the new volunteer tier.
Volunteer officers are required to have at least part-time police academy training, maintain their CPR certification, and firearm qualification training.
Full-time officers with five years of experience are eligible for four weeks vacation. They are also eligible for compensation time, which means any overtime can be carried over as time off, Munson.
The overtime is counted as time-and-a-half, Munson said, so, for example, someone who works four overtime hours could take six hours off.
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