ELMWOOD, Wis. -- How much of a dedicated police presence does a small Pierce County community need?
Elmwood Police Committee met Monday, Sept. 16, to discuss the vacant police officer position and other public safety issues.
In early August, an online survey posted to the village’s Facebook page asked individuals to answer three prompts regarding the officer vacancy. The poll was posted because the previous Police Chief Delton Hoyt left to take a position in Woodville. Hoyt served as Elmwood’s only officer for two years.
The prompts asked if community members would like to see the position be full time or part time, as well as if they would like multiple part-time officers or would like to co-op with a surrounding village.
Village Clerk Amy Wayne announced Monday that 43 people took the survey:
six people wanted the position to be part time
twelve wanted full time
ten wanted several part-time officers
five people responded with none
one person did not care
nine people wanted to co-op with a surrounding municipality but did not say which municipality
Trustees of this community of approximately 800 then bounced ideas off of each other regarding public safety. They entertained such options as stepping up their neighborhood watch, getting a community club to raise funds for radar signs and taking advantage of security cameras to deter crime.
Currently the village has an application online for the officer position and trustees are waiting for more applicants to apply, they have one applicant. The post will be up until Tuesday, Oct. 1. The committee then will go over the applicants. As the deadline gets closer, the committee will assess how much time will be needed to go over the applications based on the number received.
“This is like a three or four stage process, we want to know what we want ... we want to know what the community wants and get that ad out there,” Wayne said.
The committee will determine whether the position will be full time or part time once they get look at applications. The village is looking for an officer who will work on ordinances, traffic control and being involved in the community.
“We are going to hire a cop,” Village President Bill Stewart said. “The sooner the better, but we are going to wait until we get a stack of people to filter through so we can pick the best one.”