Town Council Approves Expanding Local Police Force

Crothersville Police Department soon will have four full-time officers. The department historically has had three full-time police officers, but there has been a vacancy since July.

During a special meeting on Thursday, the five council members unanimously approved increasing the size of the police department to four.

They approved offering one of the law enforcement positions to Joshua Medsker, 29, of Greenwood at a pay rate of $14 per hour.

Medsker has been through the police academy and has served as a police officer for Franklin Township schools in Indianapolis.

Police Chief Richard Hanlin said he is in the process of following up with Medsker to see if he will accept the job but, as of the newspaper’s press deadline, had not heard from the job applicant. If not, the council will vote to hire two of the other four candidates to fill the open positions during its next meeting Feb. 2, at 6 p.m.

The town has $125,000 in its budget to pay police officers. Based on what the town pays Hanlin and Officer Brent Turner, and then adding projected salaries for the two new officers, Council President Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson said his calculations came in $1,880 over budget — not including overtime.

Clerk-Treasurer Terry Richey said that at the end of each calendar year, money is transferred within funds to balance any appropriations that are in the red, and there are some appropriations that have funds left.

Richey said she could increase the line item for police officers’ pay in the 2017 budget.

The town currently has two full-time officers— Hanlin and Turner— and three reserve officers patrolling the streets. Two of those reserve officers applied for the full-time positions, Hanlin said.

Once the new officers are in place, Hanlin said he will arrange schedules to provide the best coverage possible. That will include reserves covering when full-time officers use vacation or sick time.

He said his current reserve officers have been working a variety of hours. In December, they ranged from 50 to 275 hours.

Reserves are required to go through 40 hours of pre-basic training, including classroom work, firearms and physical tactics. They then ride along with a field training officer before being allowed to be on their own. At that point, they are required to work at least 16 hours per month.