Franklin OKs hiring of two more officers

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, September 23, 2008

FRANKLIN—The City council voted unanimously at its regular meeting Monday night to reinstate two police department positions.

Police Chief Phillip M. Hardison urged council members to unfreeze the positions and hire the officers because the department needs the manpower, he said.

“We are currently two positions short given an authorized staff level of 28,” the chief said.

Two of the department’s current officers are out of commission on work-related injuries; two others are in police academy training until the end of October; and three officers are eligible for retirement.

“We have a current deployable staff of 20,” Hardison told the council.

Interim City Manager June Fleming told council that the officers are needed.

“I heartily recommend that you approve both,” she said.

The chief cited growing demand for police in the city, both for collateral responsibilities such as security details for school and parks and recreation events, as well as for rising crime. The city answers 300-400 police calls each week, he said.

“This gives me great concern with the holiday season around the corner,” the chief said. “A singular event can tie up an entire shift.”

“It is a credit to the police department that we have been able to maintain,” Fleming added.