Dover PD addresses apprenticeship program


DOVER -- Police Chief Randy Johnson and the Selectboard ironed out some details regarding sending new hires to the apprenticeship program at the Vermont Police Academy.

The personnel policy will be amended to include how officers will be paid while they attend the academy's apprenticeship program. That includes language that says officers will be paid at an hourly rate as determined by the chief and approved by the Dover Selectboard and it will include compensation for four hours of travel.

"During the basic course, you're there for a specific amount of hours, I should say weeks because right now full-time academy is 16 weeks," said Johnson. "Even if a holiday falls in there, they're still there unless it's one of the major holidays, then they're off."

The basic course for those training to be part-time officers, he added, is two weeks long and likely has been that way forever.

Johnson previously advised the Selectboard of a new state law that will limit the amount of responding a part-time officer can do. Concerned with how that would affect his department where part-time officers often are on patrol alone, especially in the summer months, Johnson began addressing how sending officers to the academy will be handled.

On Monday, July 15, the Selectboard accepted but first discussed policy language that led to board member Tom Baltrus raising concerns about how Johnson or any chief that follows him can change the rate at which an officer will be paid while enrolled at the academy. Baltrus said the language implied that a different rate would be set for officers while at the academy.

"It implies he can. It doesn't imply that he will," said Selectboard Chairman Randy Terk, who advocated for keeping the policy flexible so that a chief can negotiate rates while hiring and sending an officer to the academy.

Terk had proposed different language, which Johnson read over before it was unanimously approved by the Selectboard.

An officer will be attending the academy in November. Johnson said he approved this officer for a raise on July 1, when officers in his department typically get raises.

"While attending the academy, he's going in at the rate he's currently at on July 1, not Nov. 1," he said.

Johnson mentioned Senior Patrol Officer Dave Hammack requested that his resignation be rescinded. The Selectboard had not yet accepted his letter so no action was required.

"Dave's going to stay working with us so therefore, I've stopped our application for accepting ads," said Johnson.

Hammack will receive a raise as he's still continued to work, Johnson said. The chief had given all his employees a raise as of July 1.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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