DEWITT — The DeWitt City Council on Monday agreed to begin the process to hire an 11th police officer at its meeting.
Police Chief David Porter has made his case for another full-time officer at previous meetings. He has maintained that part-time officers are difficult to schedule because they often are unavailable and they lack the training that is needed to meet the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement standards.
Porter has said it is not cost-effective to have well-trained part-time officers that cannot be scheduled to work and it is a liability to work part-time officers without adequate training.
CALEA is a “constant, living, breathing thing,” and it is difficult for part-time officers to keep up, he added.
Porter said the department was budgeted to purchase a vehicle but would like that money to be released for the new hire who can attend the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in August. Twelve to 14 weeks of a probationary period follow the academy.
Councilman Kurt Ketelsen made the motion to hire the new officer but said he did not like what it does to the budget and he was unlikely to continue approval in the future.
Part-time officer Perry Lamp attended the meeting to see if there were any questions he could answer. Mayor Don Thiltgen and councilman Verlyn Scheckel were absent.
The council approved an application to the Clinton County Development Association for $40,000 for the proposed Lincoln Park bandshell, released a lien of $435 on 124 Sixth Ave. as part of last year’s Sixth Avenue project, and approved a professional services agreement with IIW Engineers of Dubuque for plans for a campground at Westbrook Park at a cost of $5,000.
A number of closures for various events were approved. There is a street closure for the Fourth of July parade which will follow a different and more complicated route due to the Eighth Street project; a Sixth Avenue closure for Hall of Fame on June 21 for an outside band and bean bag tables; a reserved parking on the north side of the 500 block on 10th Street for a car show on July 15; and an alley closure at the request of the owners of Meant to Be for construction of an addition to their building on Sixth Avenue.