Boardman trustees OK police-hiring offers
By Ashley Luthern
Township trustees approved conditional offers of employment to four police officers who, if sworn in, will complete the board’s 2011 levy promise to hire 10 additional patrolmen.
Offers were extended Monday night to Patrick J. Wilkens Jr., 25, of Canfield; Richard Kridler, 25, of North Lima; Shawn McClellan, 26, of Campbell; and Jacob Lape, 24, of Boardman.
The offers are pending completion of background, drug and physical tests, per township policies.
They will join four officers hired earlier this fall: Christopher Costas, Michael Calautti III, David Goettsch and Joe Olinger.
In August 2011, about 56 percent of township voters approved a 3.85-mill, five-year additional police levy in a special election.
Trustees pledged if voters supported the new tax, 10 additional police officers would be hired over a two-year period.
In fall 2011, three officers, David Sheely, Nick Antonucci and Bill Bowers, were hired.
This brings the total number of new hires in the police department to 11 since August 2011.
Trustee Chairman Brad Calhoun said one of the new hires will replace an officer who is planning to retire at the end of this year.
“We’ve kept our promise,” Calhoun said.
An entry-level officer’s salary is $33,280 annually.
After year one, it bumps up to $35,780, and then $37,780 after two years, according to the township’s agreement with The Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association patrol union.
Although the union is currently in a three-year step and wage freeze, new hires are the only exception to the step freeze, according to Vindicator files.
When the final four officers are sworn in, the township will have 59 officers, including the chief.
“This is wonderful,” said police Chief Jack Nichols. “After we finish these hirings, in short order you’ll see us hiring probably two dispatchers and a crime analyst and hiring in records.”
The support personnel also was included in the levy budget, but trustees had said the priority was getting officers on the streets.
All new officers go through the department’s 14-week training program, though the time might be shortened depending on an officer’s previous experience.