Police chief asks for more officers

By on June 11, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith wants the village to restore Police Department staffing to nine full-time officers, and create three new part-time police positions.

On Monday, Smith asked the Public Safety Committee to recommend including the additional Police Department salary expenditures in the village’s 2009-10 budget.

The department has had eight full-time officers since the village promoted Smith to police chief in May. Under the previous police chief, Jim Linane, Smith was the department’s commander; that position is now vacant.

Smith said by filling the full-time vacancy, the department’s three patrol shifts would be staffed by full-time officers at a level that has existed for four years, which he said is necessary to ensure officer safety and response time.

Smith also said he wants to add three more police officers to the department’s part-time staff, which currently has eight officers.

Smith cited several reasons he wants to increase the number of part-time police. He said the availability of the department’s current part-time officers is becoming more limited due to the requirements of their full-time jobs elsewhere.

In addition, the village’s police responsibilities have increased, he said. For example, this year, the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Management Agency will not be able to help with police services during the Elburn Days festival, because the officers will be needed at the Solheim Cup in Sugar Grove the same weekend, Aug. 21-23.

“I’d like to bring in experienced part-time officers for Elburn Days,” he said.

Community Development Director David Morrison agreed with Smith.

“The cost is minimal, and in the interest of public safety, I would recommend it,” Morrison said.

The cost for three more part-time officers would be up to $900 for uniforms plus an average pay of $20 hour, with no overtime or benefits, Smith said.

Depending upon experience, the additional full-time officer would be paid between $46,362 and $53,670 with benefits, Smith said.

The committee agreed to recommend the budget allocation, but it will be the Village Board’s decision whether to increase police staffing when it approves the new budget before July 31.

Current staffing—Elburn Police Department
• Full-time Police Chief
• Part-time Deputy Chief
• One full-time investigation officer
• Two full-time patrol sergeants
• Four full-time officers
• Eight part-time officers

About Martha Quetsch

4 Comments

  1. near the tracks

    June 11, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    Here’s an idea, why not have someone there to answer the phone at nights and on the weekends? Calling 911 to get a hold of your local police on the weekends about something that is not necessary an emergency, but can’t wait until Monday is awful.

  2. concernedelburncitizen

    June 12, 2009 at 6:06 PM

    Elburn, Illinois, in Kane county, is 13 miles NW of Aurora, Illinois (center to center) and 42 miles W of Chicago, Illinois. The village has a population of 2,756. The U.S.A. average is 3 law enforcement personel per 1000 citizens.

    Since we have 17 already and they want to hire 4 more for a total of 21. So 2756/21=131— or 1 cop per every 131 people or 3 cops per 393 people or 8-9 cops per 1000…which is more then twice the national average. Why not do a little more government spending? why dont you just hire security for Elburn days if it is such a burden.

  3. FarmerMel

    June 15, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    Oh yeah, that is EXACTLY what we need…more police officers with more time on their hands. Then we can have more officers to carry on the very important duties of pulling out garage sale signs, not answering your non-emergency phone calls, and waiting to pull you over 1 block away from your house. Excellent…is it not bad enough that we pay more taxes than surrounding areas, you want to add to that now? I question the departments efficiency…the answer is not to always hire new people at a place of business, it is to evaluate how your current process and people are doing. And, if you need extra help for 2-3 days a year, no business in their right mind would hire permanent employees for that, you hire temporary. UGH!
    I would like to see the numbers behind the statement of “interest in public safety.”

  4. puzzledagain

    June 25, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    I agree with Farmer Mel, do we really need more officers? Is there really a need for a full-time investigative officer?

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