New Gerald Police Advisory Board is organized

Linda Trest

Last Friday, Oct. 6, the seven-member police advisory board met for the first time. 

Mayor Cary Parker appointed five private citizens to the board: Chris Milburn, Zoe Busenhart, Pat Morin, Angie Koepke and Roger Nelsen. Overseeing the board will be Aldermen Ruth Haase and Steve Grgurich, who serve on the Police Committee for the Board of Aldermen.

The group chose Angie Koepke as their chairman, while Zoe Busenhart was selected as their secretary.

Before leaving the meeting, City Clerk Jane Hungler outlined what was expected of the board. There will be no closed meetings, questions for prospective applicants must be submitted to the city attorney for approval before being presented in the interviews. 

Hungler also told the group the City currently pays $34,000 to the police chief, $14 an hour for the lieutenant and $12.25 to patrol officers. She also explained that police personnel get a day’s pay for each holiday. If an officer is scheduled to work on a holiday, he gets his regular pay plus an extra day’s pay to compensate for the holiday.

Police personnel are required to work 86 hours every two weeks, before being eligible for overtime pay. 

A packet was presented to each member that included a “Sunshine Law” book, plus examples of an interview scoring matrix and applicant evaluation forms. 

A brief discussion was held on how the questions would be presented during the actual interviews.

Grgurich informed the group that the City was working to review and amend police policy and job descriptions. These will not be in place before the hiring process begins.

“The new chief may decide to leave then,” Grgurich noted. 

Grgurich also reported that the Board of Aldermen are considering a “police tax” to help fund the department. 

The group will take a few days to privately formulate questions and review the information given to them. 

They will meet again tonight, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. in City Hall to finalize their plans before interviews begin.