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Ironton Council mulls over police ranking system

City council’s finance committee will discuss whether or not to support legislation that will structure a ranking system within the police department.

Friday, March 01, 2002

City council’s finance committee will discuss whether or not to support legislation that will structure a ranking system within the police department.

The police department currently has a chief, three captains with one vacancy after Bill Garland was promoted to chief, two sergeants with one vacancy after Lon Hilton resigned from the department, and eight patrolmen.

The proposed legislation leaves the chief’s job, but calls for only three captains. The legislation also adds language that maintains a minimum of six patrolmen on the roster at all times.

IPD Sgt. Jim Carey wants the city to structure the police department by ordinance like the fire department.

Mayor Bob Cleary is opposed to the legislation, citing the city’s financial situation. Cleary said he is concerned with the language in the ordinance that sets the number of positions. He said that if the city’s financial situation worsens and layoffs would be required, a set number of positions would limit his ability to manage the department and make cuts if it was necessary.

Capt. Chris Bowman, IPD’s detective, said he opposes the legislation because it abolishes an already established position, one which was created more than a decade ago.

Ideally, there would be a captain for each shift and the detective-captain. Capt. Jerry Leach fears, however, that if the captain position is eliminated, it would lead to the abolishment of the detective bureau.

If the fourth captain position is eliminated, Leach said the captain over the detective bureau would then be placed as a shift commander – not working as a detective.

Leach said this situation would be detrimental to the police department. He said with the current volume of calls the police receive on a daily basis, removing the detective from investigating major crimes would place a great burden on patrolmen and stymie the police department’s ability to fight crime.