By danny restivo
Township officials have installed a new rank structure in the police department.
Trustees approved a motion to promote four officers to temporary sergeant positions during a special meeting at the township building Thursday night.
Sergeants Mike Begeot, Dominick Guarino, Gregg Tarr and Ronald Fusco were approved for promotions by the township board of trustees. The new rank is the first in the department’s history, which now has three sworn positions; chief, sergeant and patrolman.
Trustee Joe Gleydura said the four sergeants will serve a one-year period before the board of trustees decides whether or not to hire them permanently. The temporary period will help the trustees set a model for future sergeants to follow, he said.
Police Chief Todd Coonce said the introduction of a sergeant will allow for smoother operating procedures in the department.
“They can now be my eyes and ears and supervise the other officers,” said Coonce. “These guys now have the authority to make decisions in my absence.”
Gleydura said Begeot will serve as a detective-sergeant, while Fusco will act as the drug-enforcement sergeant. He said Guarino and Tarr both will serve as shift sergeants.
Begeot and Fusco will receive a $1.50-an- hour pay increase, while Tarr and Guarino will receive a $1.15- per-hour increase. Trustees did not have the officers’ current base wages.
Begeot and Guarino have served with the department for 31 and 27 years, respectively, while Tarr has been with the township for 15 years and Fusco for 13 years.
Gleydura said Trustees interviewed five applicants and promoted the four officers based on experience and an interview performance. Gleydura said the rank structure adheres to the Fraternal Order of Police and Ohio Labor Council regulations.
He and Coonce hope the new responsibility will set an example for younger officers to follow.
“This new rank will give patrolmen something to strive for while rewarding those that have put in their time here,” said Coonce.
The department has 18 officers.