SUISUN CITY — The Suisun City Council unanimously approved a plan Tuesday that will allow its Police Department to more quickly fill vacancies created by departing officers.
Suisun City police have seen several officers leave the force during the past several months, leaving the department under strength, according to Suisun City Police Chief Ed Dadisho. Presently, it takes up to eight months to recruit, check and field train a replacement officer.
The plan will allow the city to hire a full-time, temporary police officer who will then step into new vacancies as they happen.
Initially, this officer is expected to fill in for a Suisun City police officer who is out on workers’ compensation leave through February. If that officer doesn’t return, the temporary officer will take his position. If the officer comes back, the temporary officer will continue on the track to fill another vacancy.
During the Great Recession, the department was able to handle a small turnover in officers. But with other police departments starting to hire again, the number of officers leaving Suisun City increased dramatically, with six leaving since mid-March, according to City Manager Suzanne Bragdon.
The situation was made worse when one senior officer went out on extended workers’ compensation leave and several positions were left open due to city budget constraints.
Talks within the department revealed that morale was affected, while overtime costs soared and employees felt fatigued, according to Bragdon.
Having a temporary full-time police officer position would cut the amount of time it takes to put a new officer on the street and allow the city “to grow our own” police officers, Bragdon said.
Council members supported the program, with council members Mike Segala and Lori Wilson asking for follow-up reports to see how well the program is working and what it costs.
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