Panel approves police department reorganization
The Superior Police Department is returning to a command structure abandoned three years ago to accommodate a budget shortfall. The proposal by Chief Nicholas Alexander would restore the assistant police chief, reintroduce captains to oversee the...
The Superior Police Department is returning to a command structure abandoned three years ago to accommodate a budget shortfall.
The proposal by Chief Nicholas Alexander would restore the assistant police chief, reintroduce captains to oversee the patrol and investigation divisions, and restore the rank of lieutenant for the traffic sergeant. What it won’t do is increase the number of people serving in supervisory or command positions. Two sergeant and deputy chief positions are being eliminated to accommodate the changes.
The City Council’s Human Resource Committee approved the changes Wednesday.
"This has been something that has been important to me," Alexander said. He said the goal of the proposal is to improve supervision and delegation of responsibilities.
"I had the opportunity to work in that (deputy chief) position for three years," Alexander said. In those positions, he said the two deputy chiefs took on all the responsibilities of the captains and a fair share of the former assistant chief’s duties.
"Ultimately, that lead to an unreasonable workload for the positions," Alexander said. "It lead to major projects not being accomplished and us just not operating very efficiently."
In a presentation for the committee, Alexander said the reorganization would allow for major administrative projects such as policy updates, accreditation, grant writing and development of a strategic plan.
He said the assistant chief’s office has typically done the department’s grant writing, but over the last couple of years the department has gone from almost $500,000 in grant funding to none now. He said while the department has applied for grants, they haven’t gotten them and having someone trained and efficient in writing them could be beneficial.
Alexander plans to promote Deputy Chief Matt Markon to fill the assistant chief’s position.
"We’ve realized there are things in the department that were once being taken care of that aren’t being taken care of," Markon said.
Alexander said since he was hired, the command staff in the department from five to its current three. The new structure restores the number of command positions to five - police chief, assistant chief, two captains and lieutenant.
"I think we can manage it with 12," Alexander said.
The change in the structure is expected to save the department about $9,000.
"I think the proposed organizational structure is much more efficient than your current organizational structure," said Councilor Dennis Dalbec, an alternate on the Human Resource Committee. "I like the fact that the traffic position is now a lieutenant … it always was lieutenant. When it was changed, it was because of personal conflict."