By MARY ANN GREIER
SALEM - The Salem Police Department now has a second detective, with Salem police officer Brad Davis reassigned from the patrol division to the detective squad.
"Brad is very good with electronics, phones and computers. I felt that was important to keep up with the way investigations are going today," Chief J.T. Panezott said.
Davis has been with the department since May 3, 2002 and will continue his duties as school resource officer and juvenile officer besides working as a detective alongside Det. Dave Talbert, who's been serving as a squad of one for several years.
Panezott said he would like to see four more officers on the streets, but he felt it was necessary to pull Davis from the streets and send him to the detective squad now because Talbert, as good as he is, can't keep up with the investigations.
The shooting at Walmart early Sunday was the second domestic violence-related murder for the city this year, with a domestic
situation resulting in the death of 32-year-old Samantha Shasteen, another young mother who was found dead in June at her residence on Oak Street. Her alleged killer, her ex-boyfriend, Mason Feisel, 34, has been charged with her murder and is awaiting trial.
There's also the suspicious death in March of Barbara Coe, an elderly woman on Cedar Ridge Drive, which remains under investigation, along with sexual assaults, robberies and other major cases.
"We're swamped," Panezott said. "Dave can't keep up - he can only do so much. The city is changing and our crime pattern is changing."
He noted that the citizens expect them to investigate crimes to their fullest ability. In order to do that, he said he felt the department needed a second detective - now.
He said, technically, "none of us are off the streets - we're all policemen," meaning he'll respond to a call if necessary and has responded since becoming chief. The detectives can also respond.
When asked why he selected Davis for the reassignment, which does not include a change in pay, he pointed to the fact that he's tech-savvy. He had already helped out with the Shasteen investigation and was called into service a day early for the Walmart investigation, which was ruled a murder-suicide. Store employee Sylvia Maillis, 37, of Canfield, was shot to death in the employee parking lot by her ex-boyfriend Charles M. Krupinak, 36, of Campbell, who then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.
Panezott noted that Ptl. Richard Miller also serves as a juvenile officer besides working the streets. He said it has been several years since the department had two detectives.