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Testing of police officers debated at council

To test or not to test – that’s the question Ironton City Council once again debated at last night’s meeting.

Friday, December 14, 2001

To test or not to test – that’s the question Ironton City Council once again debated at last night’s meeting.

Councilman Richard Price requested that council give the civil service commission the go-ahead to test for the sergeant’s position. Earlier this year, council went on record restricting any civil service testing. This position has been vacant since the resignation of Lon Hilton earlier this year. The city needs to fill the position in order to stay compliant with the police union’s contract.

Price said the testing should be for the sergeant position and "the sergeant position only." This statement was in response to a previous request from the city administration which asked council to give approval to the police department to begin preparing a list of qualified applicants – and it sparked debate.

Councilman Jim Tordiff advocates the city creating an eligibility list, and said that he is not trying to increase the number of employees in the police department, but he is trying to build an eligibility list now so if something happens – such as police officers resigning their commission – the city would have a pool to draw from.

Mayor Bob Cleary said the police department could run the appropriate advertising in the newspaper, take applications, give the agility test and do all of the steps before giving the civil service test. This way, Cleary explained, candidates could be weeded out before the city pays for the test. Then, the city could have a list of qualified applicants in case a patrolman position comes open.

Tordiff told council that without the eligibility list, "we’re behind the eight-ball" if there’s an exodus of police officers.

Council approved giving the sergeant’s test, but did not grant the administration the ability to build am entry-level eligibility list.