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Government - Local

Plano City Council OKs hiring two part-time police officers

Last month, Plano Police Chief Jonathan Whowell announced he wanted to hire three part-time police officers to supplement the full-time staff he already has.

Whowell’s requirements were that the candidates would have to be working as full-time officers for another department, so the city would not have to take the time or spend the money to train them.

Whowell submitted two names to city council members and both men were hired April 10.

They are Jeremiah Brown, who has been with the Peru Police Department for about eight years, and Patrick Funk, who has been with the Morris Police Department for five years.

Whowell said both officers are still working full time for those departments. He did not say when he might hire a third person, but said he has several applications to review.

Applicants must not be on any police department in Kendall County, he added.

He said other departments who hired part-time officers from within their own county ran into problems with setting court dates in case of arrests, so this is being avoided.

The part-time officers will be paid $27 an hour and are expected to work whenever needed – days, afternoons or midnight shifts up to a maximum of 20 hours per week.

The department is providing a uniform, safety equipment and a duty weapon to use while on the job, Whowell said.

He said the department’s officers work eight-hour shifts, so part-time officers would work in accordance with these schedules and hours unless they are needed for a shorter time.

“They will be asked to work weekends and even holidays when needed but only to supplement the patrol division, not to fill in for vacancies created by weekends, day off requests or holiday off requests,” he said.

The part-time officers will work in one-person cars, he added.

Whowell said it will be necessary for these officers to learn the geography, policies and procedures for Plano’s department along with the local adjudication information and practices.

He is hoping Plano can go to 12-hour shifts in the future like many other area departments.

When this happens, part-time officers would be allowed to work 12-hour shifts up to a maximum of 20 hours for the week.

He said the part-time officers do not accrue benefits that would be applied to their other department, nor do they accrue retirement benefits from Plano’s pension program.

The $27 per hour is comparable to a new officer’s wage when starting as a Plano police officer and they will be eligible for yearly wage increases, Whowell said.

Part-time officers will be compensated if they have to appear in court.

Whowell noted that Plano is not the first area department to hire officers from other departments to work part-time. It has been successful for them, he said.

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