Police advisory commission formed

Linda Trest
Staff Write

The Board of Aldermen held a special meeting Thursday, Sept. 21. “Police” was a broad item listed on the agenda. 

City Clerk Jane Hungler says the discussion led to an agreement to form a Police Advisory Commission. Heading the commission will be City police committee representatives, Ward 1 Aldermen, Ruth Haase and Steve Grgurich. Five at large community members will be appointed to also serve. 

The board will be responsible for helping select a new chief of police, his lieutenant, and other staff.

The commission will create questions to be asked of prospective candidates, which then will given to the City’s attorney for approval. The commission would also be present during the interview process. Other police concerns can also be addressed by the commission. 

Mayor Cary Parker says he would prefer these members to be citizens who have never served in office before, in an effort to get fresh perspective. Parker will make the final determination of which nominations will be presented to the aldermen for approval. 

Hungler also told the Republican that the city has received several application for all positions. Four of them are from out-of-state applicants. Five applications have been received from Missouri residents.

The City is also working on adding part-time and temporary officers to the current job descriptions for the police department. The Board will need to finalize specifics, such as pay rates and the number of hours in the part-time position. 

Forming the new Police Advisory Commission is a top priority for the Board. There are currently only two officers in the Gerald Police Department. Three active reserve officers supplement the skeleton crew to some extent. County officers answer some emergency calls.