Normally six to 10 police officers sign up to work security at football games.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- A dispute over officers' not wearing their hats as required while working side jobs has been resolved, Police Chief Bruce Simeone says.
The disagreement had festered to the point where Simeone was forced to work security at the first home football game against East Liverpool High School.
"There was a question; it has been worked out," the chief said Thursday.
Simeone said that about a year ago there was an agreement with the officers' union and the city that officers would be required to wear a baseball-type hat or eight-pointed hat while on duty or while working side jobs.
The only exception was during the winter, when police can wear stocking caps when exposed to the cold during long periods.
However, some officers weren't wearing a hat while working security for private employers, according to the chief.
Simeone explained that he issued a memorandum reminding officers of the hat-wearing agreement, and some took exception.
Rather than the usual six to 10 officers signing up and used to work security, only three expressed interest in working at the East Liverpool football game.
As a result, the chief said, he and three officers who signed up, in addition to an officer assigned to afternoon turn, provided security for the game.
"It was very secure," the chief said.
Simeone said the resolution requiring the wearing of hats was worked out with the officers' union, the Fraternal Order of Police.
An FOP representative officer could not be reached to comment.
"We all are on the same page now," Simeone said, noting the officers must continue wearing hats while on duty or working extra jobs.
Ron Price, Niles McKinley High School athletic director, said there is no set number of officers to provide security at football games. They are paid $75 per game, Price noted.
He said he likes to see more officers at games against schools with strong rivalries. East Liverpool is not one of those schools.
The next home game is Sept. 15 against Akron North High School. Simeone said there will be enough security at the game.