COLUMBIANA - A part-time officer and two auxiliary officers were added to the city police force last week.
Brandon Ericsson, who has worked as a part-time officer in New Waterford, was hired to replace two part-time officers who left the department for full-time jobs elsewhere.
Chief Tim Gladis said it is difficult to keep part-time officers because of scheduling and the lure of full-time jobs.
"Many of you know we lost a couple of our part-time guys, (one) most recently to a job in Warren. It's hard to keep part-time people," he told council before they approved the new hires.
Ericsson will work to fill the vacancies left by Zach Jones and Chris Albert.
Jones has been on the roster more than a year and will remain on the roster until Dec. 30, when he will leave the department for a full-time job in Warren. Albert has been on the roster more than three years and was working part-time while also working full-time for the Beaver Township Police Department.
He officially left the department in July to take over the duties of handling the township's K-9 unit.
"We both agreed that he probably should focus on that. We'd love to have him; he's a really good cop. He's done a really good job for us," Gladis said.
Jones and Albert both worked the day shift and Gladis said Ericsson will likely fill day and night shifts at alternate times depending on scheduling.
He is currently attending Youngstown State University and will go through in-house field training with another officer on the force before taking on the new duties, Gladis said.
New auxiliary officers are Dave Beavers and Tyler Thaxton. Beavers participated on the department's Explorer Post while Thaxton has no previous connection to the department.
The Explorer Post provides career and recreational training for 14 to 18 year olds while the volunteer auxiliary force provides assistance to the paid department by providing uniformed police presence at local events.
The auxiliary force is for 18 to 21 year olds and these officers are not paid. Gladis said most members of the auxiliary force choose to seek paid police jobs when they are eligible.
The two men will join a team of roughly 20 people on the auxiliary force. All three were administered the oath of office by Municipal Attorney Daniel Blasdell during the regular council meeting.
On a related matter, the department has announced it will be purchasing a new cruiser early next year. The new cruiser is part of the five-year lifecycle replacement program and the department purchases a cruiser each year through this program, Gladis said.
The cruiser will replace the oldest cruiser or the cruiser with the most maintenance needed. The department includes the expense in its annual budget and spends about $36,000 on the cars, equipment included, he said.
The department has a fleet of eight cruisers.