By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – Thirty people applied for four open positions in the Police Department. Zero were hired.
“Unfortunately the first four who were offered jobs to either stayed where they were or accepted jobs with other cities,” said City Manager Mark Kibby, noting that a fifth candidate was offered a job but failed the physical.
“We have no candidates out of this last round,” Kibby
Councilman Harry Sisko said city administrators were excited about the number of applicants, yet they ended up with no hires.
“We still have the same problem in this city,” Sisko said, adding that the starting pay is hindering new officers.
Sisko said when officers can make, $6,000 to $8,000 more in other cities, it prevents them from coming to Allen Park for work.
Kibby said going to a hard cap versus the 80/20 on insurance is an option, putting at least an extra $2,500 in the officers’ pockets.
“Yeah, right,” Sisko said. “This problem is going to keep occurring.”
Kibby said the same problem is happening in the Fire Department.
“So the way I see it we have a personnel problem not only in police, but in fire,” Sisko said.
Councilman Anthony DeGiulio noted Lincoln Park hired new officers and they haven’t passed a millage.
Other departments offer an estimated starting pay of $48,000, while Allen Park offers $38,000 starting pay.
Mayor William Matakas said the council may in the future have to look at offering to pay schooling for the potential officers in exchange for them working for three years. He said if they leave before three years, they would have to pay that money back. Matakas said Detroit has gone that way.
“This is the first time in five years that I agree with Councilman Sisko,” resident Malcolm Beaton said. “The man hit the nail right on the head.”
Beaton, a former police affiliate, said there is a problem in new hires for the Police and Fire departments.
“You’re opening up a can of worms you’ll never close,” Beaton said.
Matakas said the city will look at ways of recruiting new officers.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)