Leetonia looking to add full-time officer
LEETONIA — With a police officer leaving the department soon and another about the begin spending all his time during the school year as the resource officer for Leetonia schools, Chief Allen Haueter and Mayor Kevin Siembida asked the safety committee of village council Wednesday to consider hiring a fourth full-time person.
Haueter indicated it is already difficult to cover all the shifts in the village and will be even harder in the months to come.
Earlier in the evening, council met and voted to hire a part-time officer, Samantha Rhodes, at $12.25 per hour, the going rate for police officers in the village. Haueter had recommended Rhodes, stating aside from completing the test, she has finished the academy and has been working as a reserve deputy with the county sheriff’s office.
Council also voted to hire La’Quasia Johnson as a part-time dispatcher at the rate of $10.50 per hour.
During the committee meeting, Haueter read the wages for some similar sized municipalities in the area after he was asked by council to provide that information at a prior meeting in July.
Haueter stated East Palestine pays part-timers $10.58 an hour and full-timers $14. Lisbon rates are $15 part-time, $20 full-time and $22.50 for a sergeant. Hanoverton pays $15 for a chief, who is not full-time. Center Township also pays $13 for an officer, but it is not a full-time department. Finally, he listed Salineville, which pays $12 part-time and $15 for a sergeant, but is not a full-time police department.
Police officers in Leetonia start at $12.25 per hours and after six months can make $13 or $13.10 depending on if they are 40 hours per week or less. A Leetonia sergeant starts at $12.90, but increases to $15.65 after a short time.
Haueter said he has someone in mind to consider for the full-time position if council decides to go that way. A fourth full-time person will work well throughout the school year, Haueter said, and then will give them an extra person when vacations occur in the summer. He suggested there may be some weeks in the summer where they have two for a shift.
The two safety committee members present agreed to take the matter up before council, which is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m., Aug. 5.