Created on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 Written by NATE SMITH
Police chief Shane Oelker defended his violation of a village ordinance, claiming he did so to honor a commitment to auxiliary officers and to keep residents safe.
With support from the mayor, and at the suggestion of the solicitor, West Liberty Village Council members voted Monday in regular session to suspend a law restricting the number of hours that may be doled out to auxiliary police officers every two weeks.
That number was previously capped at 96, per an ordinance approved by council. Clerk Cindee Boyd reported that 160 hours of auxiliary patrol were recorded two pay periods ago and 191 hours of patrol were turned in for the most recent pay cycle.
She said higher gas prices have yielded increased fuel costs for the village as well.
“I made a decision for my department that our guys were going to get paid for the time they’re here,” Chief Oelker said, “whether that’s for court or patrol or parades for athletes who help other runners get across the finish line.” The police chief said his auxiliary patrolmen were somewhat “disgruntled” by the fact they weren’t always getting paid and that sometimes resulted in difficulty filling shifts.
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