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Cops compete for sergeant’s position

September 10, 2012
MARY ANN GREIER - Staff Writer ( , Salem News

SALEM - Six Salem Police Department patrolman will have their knowledge tested tonight as they compete for a new sergeant's position created by city council.

The Salem Civil Service Commission will administer the 100-question multiple-choice exam for sergeant eligibility - high score wins the job.

Commission clerk Gary Moffett said they'll have a time limit of 2 1/2 hours to finish the test, which was created by a professional company the commission uses. The officers were told which books to study and were given 60 days to study before the test date.

Earlier this year, police Chief Bob Floor requested council allow him to have the current sergeant serving with the Columbiana County Drug Task Force on a part-time basis moved to the DTF full time, then create another sergeant's position to fill the open shift supervisor spot. The plan calls for him to then hire a patrolman to fill the spot opened by the promotion of a current patrolman to sergeant.

Moffett explained that the commission maintains eligibility lists for promotions for the police and fire departments. When a list expires after two years and there's a need for a promotion due to an opening, they administer a test to any eligible officers who want to be considered for the next level.

In this case, he said six patrolman stepped forward to take the sergeant's exam. Moffett said they won't need to have an exam for the subsequent patrolman position because the eligibility list for patrolmen is still valid until February.

Fact Box

Meetings moved

SALEM - Due to a Civil Service Exam, city council committee meetings set for tonight will be held in the lower floor conference room of city hall.

Finance Committee will meet at 6 p.m. regarding an appropriation from capital improvements for a new 1 1/2-ton truck for the street department, information about an agency to attempt to uncover non-filers for the city income tax and the proposed sale of city-owned property on North Ellsworth Avenue.

Committee of the Whole will meet at 7 p.m. regarding the Tax Increment Finance project report and a proposal suggested by the Salem Area Industrial Development Corporation (SAIDC).

Also to note, the city Utilities Commission will meet at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the second floor conference room of the utilities department. The time is a half hour earlier than usual.

The Rules & Ordinances Committee of city council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers regarding discussion of a possible increase in housing inspection fees and vacating a portion of Butcher Road.

Results of the test will be released to the city service/safety director.

In December, he said the commission will administer a test for chief since Floor announced he's retiring in February. Normally, the officers eligible to take the chief's exam would be the lieutenants, but there has to be a majority from the list of eligible officers. If there isn't, the test has to be opened up to the next level of officers, which in this case would be sergeants.

So if only one of the three lieutenants in the department chooses to take the chief's exam, the sergeants will also be eligible to sign up and then the top score will get the top job.

Moffett said he wasn't aware yet how that would play out in December.

If a lieutenant gets the job, they'll have to promote a sergeant to lieutenant to fill the opening.

If the test is opened up to sergeants and a sergeant gets the job, then there will be an opening for sergeant and they'll be able to use the list formed after tonight's test. Then a patrolman will be promoted to sergeant, meaning there will be an opening for a new patrolman.

The tests tonight will be held in council chambers.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at



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